22-year-old Hawaii ASC in danger of closing

Hilo (Hawaii) Community Surgery Center, is in danger of closing due to low volume, its owners told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

The 22-year-old surgery center needs around 100 cases per month to break even, and Peter Matsuura, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and owner of the ASC, said monthly caseload is sometimes much lower.

"There's a limit as to how long we can sustain the loss, obviously," he told the Tribune-Herald, noting that case volume fluctuates greatly month to month. He partially blamed the local hospital, Hilo Medical Center, saying it discouraged surgeons from taking cases to the ASC.

Elena Cabatu, a spokesperson for the hospital, denied that the hospital stops surgeons from performing procedures at the ASC, but she did say the hospital is building its surgical capabilities and has hired more surgeons in the last few years.

Carol Kekauoha, administrator of Hilo Community Surgery Center, said the pandemic and independent physician retirements have also contributed to lower case volume at the ASC. Alice Chin, the surgery center's clinical director, said the hospital is employing new surgeons coming to the community, so there are fewer independent surgeons to use the center.



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