Thomas Mallon, Founder and CEO, Regent Surgical Health, discusses the biggest challenge for ambulatory surgery centers today:
"The thing keeping me up at night most right now is wondering whether the very soft first quarter ASCs experienced will continue throughout the year. Did we see these results because we have a lot of patients absorbing high deductibles or is it the fundamental change in reimbursements? For many centers, it's been both. The economy only experienced 0.1 percent growth last quarter, and a lot of centers had one-time weather-related expenses that made an impact on ASC financials. Then patients are absorbing their new high deductible plans.
"I still think the keys to the kingdom in healthcare have been granted to the hospitals and good hospital systems are looking to lower the cost of care; they are getting ready to take risk by creating insurance products and taking capitation from insurance companies for specific populations. This bodes well for ASCs. For the first time, hospitals are talking about not only letting employed surgeons work in the ASC, but mandating surgeons work there because of the lower costs and increased efficiency."
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