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How direct contracting with ASCs can benefit employers 

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ASCs can often offer higher-quality care at lower rates, making it a prime location for direct contracting. 

Celia Smith, the administrator of Houston Premier Surgery Center in The Villages, joined "Becker's Ambulatory Surgery Centers Podcast" to discuss the top trends she sees in the ASC industry today. 

This is an excerpt of the podcast. Download the full episode here

Question: What are the top three trends in healthcare that you're following today? 

Celia Smith: One of the first things that I'm really focused on is the employer contracting with surgery centers. It's obvious that employers are recognizing that partnerships with surgery centers can offer a higher quality of care at reduced rates. What I'm really eyeing is the benefit that these contracts with employers have toward surgery centers, such as ourselves, because being aligned with them will help us avoid dealing with any out-of-network status — you get an increase in patient referrals and avoid authorizations. In the end, these contracts will allow for quicker reimbursement.

Another thing that I'm looking at is the shift of hospital outpatient cases to surgery centers. Medicare and commercial payers are both approving higher-acuity procedures to be done at centers such as ours. In doing so, hopefully we can find ways to reel in physicians that may not be comfortable in outpatient surgery centers, bringing their outpatient cases. 

The third thing that I'm really looking at is reimbursement trends, bundled payments and value-based care. Value-based care centers around patient outcomes and quality of care while lowering costs, which is the aim of every surgery center. So with bundled payments, maybe we could get paid faster and avoid the correspondent hassles with payers.

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