How weight loss drugs may impact the ASC industry

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists such as Ozempic have surged in popularity over the past year. But what does this increased popularity mean for the ASC industry?

Jackie McLaughlin, BSN, RN, manager of surgical services, outpatient infusions and pain clinic at Aspirus Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, Wis., connected with Becker's to discuss how Ozempic will impact the ASC industry.

Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: How will Ozempic impact the ASC industry?

Jackie McLaughlin: Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications have become the hot topic in the surgical world. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends that patients on the GLP-1s hold the medication for one week prior to anesthesia. If the patients that are on the GLP-1 medications are not discovered at least eight days prior to the procedure, the rate of cancellations is going to increase. Having the surgical staff educate the patients on this requirement leaves holes in the care coordination of the patient. For example, if the patient is on the GLP-1 medication for diabetes, they must follow-up with their primary care provider to discuss how to manage their diabetes for the week that they are off of the medication. Another factor that is concerning my staff are the patients that receive their GLP-1s from markets that are not regulated by the FDA, and therefore not prescribed by a physician. If the patient fails to disclose they are on this medication, there could be great risk to the patient.

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