How ASC cost containment strategy is changing

Two ASC administrators joined Becker's to share how they have adapted their management approaches to keep costs down.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. If you would like to contribute to our next question, please email Paige Haeffele at

Question: How has your cost containment strategy changed in the last year?

Barbara Clancy-Sweeney. Administrator at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia): Prioritizing [our] ASC because it is a lower-cost option for patients and insurance payments are typically lower. It is always run efficiently while keeping costs down. The only thing we're doing differently is cutting agency and travel RNs and techs, as it is extremely expensive. We find the post-COVID era is finally normalizing some with people returning to the workforce.

Donald Greener. Administrator, GI Associates of Big Bend, Capital City Surgery Center (Tallahassee, Fla.): For us at Capital City Surgery Center of Florida and our parent company, Covenant Physician Partners, patient experience and patient outcomes are two of our key drivers. In addition to the 2 percent sequestration that is ongoing, many specialties have been hit hard with reductions in remittance rates from CMS in recent years due to budget neutrality requirements. That coupled with a scenario where costs are steadily climbing and insurance payers becoming increasingly parsimonious with remittance rates, cost containment has been a real challenge and requires a focused multi-pronged approach. We have made significant gains at our facility through tighter labor management, smarter scheduling of procedures to maximize the encounter load per provider per day without increasing time worked by the provider, reducing cost per case rates through aggressive price negotiations with several supply vendors that market similar products, and changes to key business processes to improve overall efficiency.  All have been accomplished without compromising patient experience or patient outcomes while minimally impacting our providers and staff. 

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