5 Best Practices to Keep Your ASC Profitable

Here are five best practices from Luke Lambert, CEO of ASCOA, to help keep your ASC profitable.

1. Compress your surgical schedule so that more cases are done every day the center is open. Staffing for a day of surgery often costs the same whether you are doing 20 cases or 35 cases. The greater the schedule density, the lower the staffing cost per case. This can mean the difference between profits and losing money.

2. When the cases are done send your clinical staff home and turn off the lights. Given today's cost pressures, centers cannot afford to be staffed without having work to do.

3. Never stop recruiting people to use your center. Many surgeons aren't ready when first contacted but there tend to be windows of opportunity over time. When your recruiting call comes after a particularly frustrating episode at another facility, you can find a positive reception.

4. Case costing should be an ongoing routine. Knowing what your cases cost, what you're getting paid by case, surgeon and payor helps you to know where your bread is being buttered. Hospitals almost always have significantly better reimbursement than ASCs, so don't hesitate to take cases you're losing money on to your local hospital. With their typically 70 percent higher reimbursement, they'll thank you for it.

5. Your willingness to take cases to where they are reimbursed adequately should be used when bargaining with payors. If a particular payor doesn't reimburse adequately for a given specialty to be done profitably at your center, then see that those cases go to the local hospital, obtain copies of EOBs from those patients so you know what the hospital is getting and then try to renegotiate with that payor. Tell them you'd like to save them money on those cases being done at the hospital but you need to get paid sufficient to cover your costs. Share with them the EOB data results and offer them 10-20 percent savings at your center. This is often a fruitful negotiating approach. Remember, even modest increases in reimbursement drop directly to your bottom line, increasing your profits dramatically.

Learn more about ASCOA.

Read more insight from Luke Lambert:

- 3 Current Trends Impacting ASC Transactions

- 3 Questions to Determine the Turnaround Potential of an ASC

- 5 Ways ASCs Lose Money

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