In the next five years, ASCs will be pushed towards value-based contracts to keep procedure costs low, according to Andy Poole, manager of ASC business solutions at the Emergency Care Research Institute in Plymouth Meeting, Va.
Mr. Poole joined Becker's to discuss what ASC competition will look like in five years and how it has shifted in the last five.
Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for clarity and length.
Question: What will ASC competition look like in 5 years?
Andy Poole: With further legislative changes promoting price transparency set to begin in this window, I fully expect to see a greater focus on competition on cost of the procedure to the patient, as well as outcomes. There will be a greater shift for centers to enter into value-based contracting, as payers will want to have demonstrated outcomes as well as lower costs.
Q: How has ASC competition shifted over the last 5 years?
AP: While there is variation within the different markets, the largest competitive element in the ASC industry over the past five years has been the competition for talent, specifically surgeons and nurses. This has dramatically increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 'Great Resignation,' and given the projected staffing shortages, this will continue to be a key point of focus in the future. Expect to see centers using traditional and innovative elements [technology, compensation and benefits structure, work environment] to bring in and keep the top providers.
Much of the emphasis on competition for patients has been driven by technology, such as laser cataracts and robotics. This also has become more prevalent as a larger number of ASCs are implementing new technologies to recruit new providers and transition procedures typically done at the hospital to their centers.