4 key issues on the radar of ASC execs

Amid a rapidly changing healthcare ecosystem, ASC execs are examining these four issues to prepare for the future.

1. More stringent vetting of ASC-anesthesia provider arrangements. ASC leaders need to keep an eye on these arrangements to ensure that they aren't violating federal kickback and false claim laws. 

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2. Physicians flocking to employed models. Many leaders feel this model lacks an element critical to patient care  — autonomy. WIth almost 74 percent of physicians reported being employed at the end of 2020, according to a report from Avalere, many physicians are worried about the future of private practice. 

"Small private practices give physicians the ability to provide the best care for their patients and to adapt to changes quickly and effectively," Joseph Anderson, MD, professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H., told Becker's. "Small private practices are the lifeblood of U.S. medicine, and their ability to survive is vital to healthcare in this country."

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3. Insurers and healthcare systems parting ways. Terminated contracts are affecting thousands of people. Hospitals are pointing to steep operation costs to justify higher rates as they recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organizations, including ASCs and clinics, are operating on tighter margins and hope to negotiate higher rates with insurers.

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4. CMS sticking with the inpatient-only list. Last year, CMS reversed its plan to eliminate the inpatient-only list, deciding to keep it and adding more procedures. This move has frustrated ASC leaders nationwide as it slowed the migration of procedures to their centers. 

"I honestly got a pretty big unsettling feeling that what CMS finalized in the 2022 final rule is just a starting point. It's kind of funny because CMS just recently had a plan to eliminate the inpatient-only list altogether," Andrew Lovewell, administrator at the Surgical Center at Columbia (Mo.) Orthopaedic Group and CEO of the Lodge at Keene Street, told Becker's. 

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