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ASCs reduce outpatient procedure costs by $38B per year compared to HOPDs: 5 insights

ASCs can reduce outpatient surgery's cost by more than $38 billion dollars annually compared to hospital outpatient departments, according to a new analysis.

Healthcare Bluebook, a national provider of quality and cost data for healthcare services, and HealthSmart, an independent administrator of health plans for self-funded employers conducted the analysis. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association provided technical assistance and expertise to the study. The companies conducted the analysis using a sample of de-identified commercial claims data for 2014.

Here are five insights:

1. The study found ASC prices are significantly lower than HOPD prices for the same procedures throughout the United States, regardless of payer. ASCs offer a lower-cost site of care as compared to HOPDs.

2. ASCs can reduce a patient's out-of-pocket costs by more than $5 billion each year through lower deductibles and coinsurance payments.

3. For example, in Charleston, W.Va., cataract patients with an ACA silver plan would save $566 in out-of-pocket costs by choosing an ASC.

4. Additionally, for commercially insured populations, ASCs only performed 48 percent of procedures that surgeons could  safely perform in surgery centers.

5. If the other 52 percent of potential ASC cases were taken to an ASC, the country would see healthcare cost savings of $41 billion annually.

"The physicians and nurses providing care in ambulatory surgery centers, as well as the millions of patients they have treated, have long known that ASCs provide a high-quality, low-cost site for outpatient procedures," said ASCA CEO William Prentice. "This study is solid evidence that consumers, policymakers, insurers and employers need to take fuller advantage of the exceptional healthcare value offered by ASCs." ,

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