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What Are ASC Success Indicators for the Future?

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Jessica Nantz, President of Outpatient Healthcare Strategies, discusses the best sign for ambulatory surgery centers indicating they will be successful in the future.

Jessica Nantz: The most promising sign is the recognition by parties outside of the ASC industry about the critical role ASCs play in healthcare and will play in the future of healthcare.

More and more hospitals and health systems are aligning themselves with ASCs, which is a stark contrast to the adversarial position most hospitals were taking just seven to 10 years ago.

Payers are increasingly seeing the value of moving cases from the inpatient setting to the lower cost, high quality outpatient setting. More payors are providing coverage of higher acuity cases, including spine and total joint procedures.

In addition, an OIG report published in April noted that procedures performed in ASCs have saved Medicare more than $1 billion in each of the last several years and, but that reimbursement changes are presenting challenges for growth. The ASC industry continues to push for better reimbursement for ASCs, and such reports provide strong support for this argument.

After many years of uncertainty in the industry, well-run ASCs are finding themselves in a strong position — they're garnering significant, positive attention from hospitals, payers, management and development companies, and the government.

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