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ASCs can win with this major trend

With the trends in healthcare moving toward value-based care models, ASCs could be in the perfect position for growth. 

"ASCs continue to grow year after year as more cases are migrated to the setting," Tina DiMarino, DNP, RN, administrator of Mid-Atlantic Surgery Pavilion in Aberdeen, Md., told Becker's. "ASCs have an important role in the shift to a value-based model of healthcare. ASCs also provide positive outcomes for the patient for a more reasonable cost."

CMS and payers are seeing opportunities in bundled payments over traditional fee-for-service models. Plus, in a market that is becoming increasingly consumerized, ASC partnerships that boost value-based care could come out on top. 

"To be honest, I believe all ASCs in their respective markets serve a value-based purpose and therefore will win," Dr.. DiMarino said. "... As healthcare consumers, physicians understand the patients have choices for where they would like to receive their care. With this in mind, ASCs tend to cater to the patient by providing a safe and friendly environment that is truly patient-centric."   

Value-based care arrangements require digital sophistication for data gathering and analyzing infrastructure, so consolidation and partnerships can help ASCs and physician groups secure these contracts. 

Consolidation does not have to hurt care delivery, Dr. DiMarino said. Hospital-owned joint ventures can provide state-of-the-art facilities while maintaining physician control, and ASC management companies can offer patient-focused care. 

Many ASC companies and physician practices have recently secured partnerships to bolster value-based care and leverage these contracts. For example, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners is collaborating with ValueHealth to expand access to surgical care, aiming to build new ASCs and deploy ValueHealth's value-based surgical programs across Surgery Partners' locations. 

Meanwhile, Philadelphia-based Premier Orthopedics recently teamed with Healthcare Outcomes Performance Co. to integrate value-based partnerships with orthopedic practices, physicians, health systems and payers in the region. And Raleigh, N.C.-based Compass Surgical Partners recently snagged a private equity investment to support its expansion into new markets. Compass aims to use the influx of capital to invest in data and analytics and value-based partnerships.

Although only 15 percent of physicians participate in value-based payment models, according to Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report 2022," it is a growing trend. Some orthopedic surgeons believe ASCs are saving orthopedics amid high consolidation and the movement to value-based care. 

"Physicians should focus on value-based care initiatives, orient toward collaborative relationships with patients, be driven by guideline-directed medical therapy and shift services to the outpatient environment through reliance on ASCs and office-based Centers of Excellence," said Andrew Kaplan, MD, director of electrophysiology and clinical research at Southwest Cardiovascular Associates in Mesa, Ariz.


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