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Prediction: ASCs May See a Move to Short Stays

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Jack Jensen, MD, FACSM, an orthopedic surgeon at the Houston-based Athletic Orthopedics & Knee Center shares his take on the future of the ASC.

Q: What is the future of the ASC?

Dr. Jensen: There is an overall narrowing of the gap in healthcare technology between inpatient and outpatient surgery. The challenge is that payers tend to be behind on reimbursement. A lot of insurance companies won't pay for outpatient procedures, though not because of safety and efficacy. There's a lag time. What I see is a ASCs moving toward a bridge — the short stay. We'll see one- to two-day stay patients. I think the ASC industry is strong, but in order to secure payers it will have to invest in this bridge or work in partnership with a hospital, because even though healthcare technology is driving procedures toward outpatient settings, payers will stay behind otherwise.

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