ASCs beat inpatient setting for quarter, year-over-year utilization increases — 6 study insights

ASCs saw the biggest increase in use in the second quarter of 2018 compared to inpatient, outpatient and emergency department settings, according to a Leerink Partners report on MEDACorp survey results.

MEDACorp surveyed 47 hospital administrators across the U.S. in June 2018.

Here are six findings:

1. While utilization increased by 1.4 percent for the ASC setting in the second quarter, it increased by 0.7 percent for the inpatient setting, 1.1 percent for outpatient and 0.9 percent for emergency departments.

The year-over-year increases in utilization were 1 percent for inpatient, 2.5 percent for outpatient and 2.2 percent for ASCs.

2. However, increases were modest across all four care sites compared to the previous year and the previous quarter.

3. Most respondents reported no change in use of service lines for the second quarter. Spine procedures had the largest year-over-year increase in utilization across care sites, at 1.4 percent. All the remaining procedures increased less than 1 percent year over year.

4. Most respondents projected no change in reimbursement for procedures across all sites, but slightly more respondents showed a decrease for some service lines in the inpatient setting. For instance, 17 percent reported a decrease in reimbursement for cardiology in the inpatient setting.

5. The survey shows a continued shift to lower-cost outpatient and ASC settings.

"This trend is in line with our previous survey results and continues to bode well for those entities heavily invested in the space, such as [Nashville, Tenn.-based] HCA and [Minnetonka, Minn.-based] UnitedHealth/Optum," Leerink Partners said in the report.

6. The most important drivers of utilization in the second quarter were aging population and the ACA Pull-Forward effect. Improving perception of economic situations is expected to be a leading driver in the next year.

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