As supply and labor costs skyrocket, many ASC leaders are seeking new ways to drive revenue.
Here are three:
1. Value-based care
ASCs are focusing on value-based care systems as big health industry players, investors and health systems migrate to the lower costs and better patient outcomes bundled payments provide.
"The payers are now interested in discussing bundles on some of the higher spends that can be done in the outpatient setting," Jeffrey Flynn, administrator and COO of New York City-based Gramercy Surgery Center, told Becker's. "Joint replacements, bariatric and some general procedures are all on the table for discussion. With the bigger push to move procedures out of the hospital, many of us are in discussions for bundled payments with a boost in the reimbursement to bring it to a more cost-efficient setting."
Many ASC companies are already securing partnerships to support value-based care. In May, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners joined with ValueHealth to bring its value-based surgical care to its practices.
ASCs are in the perfect position to adapt the value-based care models, decreasing costs for payers and patients.
2. Physician ownership
Investment in an ASC is a long-term strategy for physicians, particularly those not employed by a hospital, to thrive financially.
"By investing in their ASC operation, physicians can capture the facility portion of the reimbursement schedule, providing additional income for the work and investment they’ve put in," Collin Hart, CEO and managing director at ERE Healthcare Real Estate Advisors in Costa Mesa, Calif., told Becker's. "Try doing that with your Apple or Tesla stock."
Hospital-employed physicians also can harness financial opportunity in ASCs, Mark Townsend, MD, chief clinical officer of Providence Group at Bon Secours Mercy Health in Richmond, Va., told Becker's.
"Including employed physicians as shareholders in ASCs gives them a stake in the game relative to efficiencies and operational throughput and incentivizes performance through the motivation that comes with shared ownership," Dr. Townsend said.
ASC investment and ownership also gives many physicians flexibility, providing a more manageable workload and schedule than hospital or corporate employment.
3. Private equity
Private equity activity in healthcare has surged in recent years as the industry continues to consolidate, and the ASC sector is no exception.
Private equity has an increasing influence in the ASC industry as investors see opportunity in ASCs as a high-quality, low-cost site of service. Many ASC leaders and physicians are looking to private equity to access capital amid rising margins and operating costs.
"Private equity is the best of all worlds when it comes to consolidation. The new private equity partnership models cover it all," Jeff Almand, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Mississippi Sports Medicine in Jackson, told Becker's. "You are able to monetize your practice, maintain your autonomy, remain invested in your practice, have access to capital for future growth and take advantage of vertical integration."