3 insights on improving ASC performance from Center for Pain and Spine's Dr. Vincent Galan

A bad reputation can ruin the work of great physicians, according to Vincent Galan, MD, anesthesiologist and medical director of Stockbridge, Ga.-based Center for Pain and Spine.

Dr. Galan will share his expertise as a speaker at the Becker's ASC 26th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, Oct. 24-26, 2019 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at mjodoin@beckershealthcare.com. 

Triple board-certified in pain medicine by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Board of Anesthesiology' and American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians, Dr. Galan shared his thoughts on the ASC industry's challenges and opportunities.

Note: Responses have been edited for style and clarity.

Question: As an ASC leader, what do you think are the top opportunities for ASC spine growth in the next 10 years?

Dr. Vincent Galan: I believe the future is exciting. Here are the top opportunities for ASCs:

● Increased use of minimally invasive procedures, including the Superion/MILD procedure to address moderate lumbar spinal stenosis, instead of decompression or lumbar fusion.

● Sacroiliac joint fusions with newer techniques. This is a problem in 15 to 20 percent of the population who present with chronic back pain.

● The use of regenerative medicine in degenerative disc disease is bright, as well as in facet injections.

● ASCs are partnering with the healthcare industry in research, innovations, funding and patient and community involvement.

Q: What challenges do you think ASCs will face in the near future?

VG: Revenue cycle management is a major issue. This is a constant battle of insurance denials and pre-certifications. Decreasing payments, new technology and pricing are creating an environment of decreasing reimbursement and increasing technology and staff costs

Q: What advice would you give to other ASC medical directors? How can they improve quality of care at their centers?

VG: Realize that you can have the best physicians but bad staff can ruin reputations, and vice versa. Emphasize to all staff they are key to the practice's success. Incentivize your staff through bonus scheduling, and think big. Provide what your competition doesn't. Aim to be better [than your competition] in every aspect, such as customer service and ease of scheduling.

Re-examine all aspects of business and processes. Analyze ways to improve strengths, decrease weaknesses and more. This should be ongoing, but really should be done in-depth with a lot of rapid growth. Continue to re-examine pricing of equipment, and always re-negotiate.

Encourage growth of physicians clinically, and encourage a team attitude. Always look at big and little ways to make everyone feel important. Even if it is small, people like to feel they have done a good job.

Aggressive yet personable and well-trained, board-certified interventional pain physicians are also important. Without good bedside manner, team work, [and the] willingness to have empathy, prescribe acceptable amounts of opioids and [offer] aggressive interventional treatment, a practice is lesser than those with those things. Physicians can either grow or kill a practice; reputation of the practice and physicians means everything.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Rachel Popa at rpopa@beckershealthcare.com.

For a deeper dive into ASC industry trends, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-15, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on anesthesiology:
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Surgeon arrested for alleged sexual abuse of 4 patients under anesthesia — 5 details
Academy of Integrative Pain Management shuts down — 4 insights

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