5 forces shaping the ASC industry

ASCs are resilient, but they are not immune to the forces that continue to shape healthcare.

Here are five forces shaping the ASC industry: 

Prior authorizations 

Ninety-four percent of physicians reported that prior authorization led to delays in patient care and has caused increased administrative burden, a March 29 survey from the American Hospital Association found. 

CMS' 'missed chance'

CMS plans to add just 26 dental surgical codes to the ASC payable list next year, according to the 2024 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposal released July 13. 

"This is disappointing to hear; many other very beneficial procedures (including total shoulder replacements) for patients were proposed and not supported. This is a missed chance at significantly reducing Medicare costs," Joseph D'Agostino, administrator at Snellville, Ga.-based Advanced Surgery Center Perimeter and Gwinnett Advanced Surgery Center, told Becker's.

AmSurg and Envision

ASC operator and physician services company Envision has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, restructuring to deal with $7 billion in outstanding debt. Under the restructuring agreement, AmSurg will buy all ASCs held by Envision for $300 million.

Hospitals investing in ASCs

Health systems nationwide are looking toward ASCs to make care more accessible and create avenues for cost-effective outpatient care. Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health System, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health, Columbus-based OhioHealth and Dallas-based Methodist Health System have all taken the plunge to invest in surgery centers. 

SCA Health rebrand

SCA Health rebranded last May and has expanded its focus beyond ASCs. SCA Health and its parent company Optum are now looking at growth not just through the number of ASCs but through "the quality of care we provide, the proportion of spend in value-based care arrangements, [and] our increased connectivity to practices and health systems," SCA Health's then-CEO Caitlin Zulla, who now serves as CEO of Optum Health East, told Becker's in 2022.

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