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ASC Financial Dashboard for Physician Owners

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Ambulatory surgery center physician owners balance their private practice with ASC ownership, hospital cases and other professional and personal responsibilities. While corporate partners and administrators often do a fantastic job of managing the ASC's finances, there are a few incredibly important metrics for owners to know as they make decisions about the future.

Vice President, Finance at Surgical Care Affiliates Leslie Wachsman says the most important metrics can provide a picture of the ASC's profitability, diversification and operational efficiency. "When viewed on a trending basis, these indicators can show where an ASC has been as well as where it is headed," she says.

These most important financial benchmarks for ASC physician investors include:

•    Case volume per working day
•    Specialty mix
•    Payer mix
•    Net patient revenue per case
•    Clinical labor per case
•    Implant cost per case
•    Medical supply cost per case
•    EBITDA per case
•    Percent of accounts receivable greater than 90 days
•    Cash collections as a percent of net patient revenue

Physician investors often monitor these benchmarks quarterly, if not monthly, to stay abreast of the ASC's financial situation and make changes as necessary. The majority of SCA partnership ASCs hold either monthly or quarterly meetings open to all physician investors where participants focus on overall facility operations, including clinical quality, community events, new and ongoing initiatives and financial performance.

"Details around the center's finances are communicated via various tables and graphs designed to be easily understandable," says Ms. Wachsman. "In most instances, materials can be made available beforehand so that investors can digest the data and formulate any questions they may have."

Financial information can provide investors with valuable insight into the ASC's business and opportunities for improvement, but Ms. Wachsman warns they should not be viewed in a vacuum. "For instance, increasing supply costs per case is not necessarily a negative trend if it is accompanied by an even greater increase in NPR per case due to a shift to higher acuity cases that require more supplies," she says.

Also be aware of the impact physician investors have on the center; many underestimate their influence on the center's financial performance. There are many ways physicians individually and as a group can impact the center's bottom line.

"Monitoring supply expenses and choosing lower cost alternatives is an easy way to save money," says Ms. Wachsman. "And, by simply arriving at the center on time prior to the start of their first case can help to mitigate unnecessary overtime expenses and overall labor dollars. On-time starts also provide the ability to schedule more cases and make more efficient use of the center's most limited commodity: OR time."

More Articles on Surgery Centers:
5 Critical Things to Keep in Mind When Putting Together an ASC Policy & Procedure Manual

6 Key Observations for ASCs Today

Eliminate Staffing Overlaps: 7 Strategies to Run a Lean ASC


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