How ASCs & physician-owned medical groups can lower costs to compete in a value-based environment

With consideration playing a prominent role in today's healthcare landscape, independent physician owned medical groups are becoming rarer. CareMount Medical, a physician-owned medical group in New York State, is one of the largest in the country with 650 providers practicing across the state.

At the Becker's ASC Review 26th Annual Conference in Chicago, CareMount president and CEO Scott D. Hayworth, MD, and chief financial and population health officer Kevin J. Conroy, spoke about how CareMount Medical has stayed independent, as well as its vision for the future.

"The key thing about us is that we're physician-led," Dr. Hayworth said. "We're also highly effective in keeping costs down."

One thing CareMount Medical Group has done to reduce costs is move procedures typically done in the hospital setting to the ASC, in addition to moving some services to physician offices. In that same vein, ASCs and other practices need to think differently to prepare for how healthcare is changing, Mr. Conroy said.

"[For ASCs], it's about [providing] the setting for care during the right time for the patient," he said.

One way CareMount is thinking differently about the future of healthcare is making the goal to work directly with employers to provide care for their employees, bypassing insurance companies.

"From the ASC perspective, if there's a dominant employer in your area, you want to try talking to them about moving care away from the more expensive hospital and into your ASC," Dr. Hayworth said.

In addition to leveraging ASCs, CareMount has used data analytics to help move toward value-based care. Data analytics and reporting play a key role in lowering costs for CareMount Medical Group, and the same applies to ASCs.

"ASCs are going to play a very important role [in value-based care]," Mr. Conroy said.

For both ASCs and independent medical groups, competition from health systems is a concern. "More and more, health systems will be building their own ASCs to compete with you, no matter what part of the country you're from," Dr. Hayworth said.

More articles on benchmarking:
Yearly average salaries for 5 physician specialties
States where Medicare-certified ASC numbers stayed flat from 2017-18
10 states with the most Medicare-certified ASCs 

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