5 Achievable Goals for ASCs in 2011 From Michael Lipomi of Surgical Management Professionals

Michael Lipomi recently became president and CEO of Surgical Management Professionals in Sioux Falls, S.D., which runs 16 facilities. Eleven of them are ASCs and five are physician-owned hospitals. With a 32-year career in healthcare and facility management, he served most recently as president of RMC MedStone Capital. In addition, Mr. Lipomi will continue to manage three centers run by RMC, as part of a consulting agreement with SMP.

Mr. Lipomi describes five achievable financial goals for ASCs in 2011.


1. Renegotiate payor contracts. "We're always out renegotiating contracts," Mr. Lipomi says, but he sees a lot of the smaller ASCs simply extending their current payor contracts without renegotiating. Renegotiating might involve bringing in an outside contractor for the work, but it is well worth it, he says.

2. Expand services. Look for more procedures within your current specialties, such as moving to total joints, more neurosurgery and implanting pacemakers. "Talk to your physicians to gain an understanding of the additional services you could provide," Mr. Lipomi says.

3. Consider strategic arrangements with hospitals. One option for ASCs is to create a joint venture with a hospital or even converting the ASC into an HOPD. "Some hospitals are very willing partners and can offer mutually beneficial arrangements," Mr. Lipomi says.

4. Recruit new physicians. Although there is a higher saturation level of ASCs today than five years ago, not every suitable surgeon is aligned with a surgery center yet, Mr. Lipomi says. Ask physicians and staff to name potential recruits.

5. Possibly ACOs, but you'll need to wait. There may be opportunities for ASCs to expand their case volume by joining an ACO as the lowest-cost, high-quality choice for surgery. However, "it's too early to determine the effects of healthcare reform and the jury is still out on ACOs," Mr. Lipomi says. "There is a lot of confusion and not much in the way of information."


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