'It has been a year of unknowns and changes': What we heard this week

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Healthcare providers spoke with Becker's this week about topics from surgical robots to government trends.

What we heard this week:

Are surgical robots important to ASC growth?
Armando Colon, CASCC. Privacy & Compliance Officer at the Day Surgery Center (Winter Haven, Fla.): Our vision is to design a robotic program that enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery with enhanced visualization and accurate control. We would scale 10 on how important are surgical robots. We push for a better medical ecosystem — from the patient journey, to the operating room staff experience, to improved training, procedures and outcomes. We champion a healthcare industry where patients in every community can expect and have access to the most advanced quality care at a predictably lower cost with the best possible results. Robotics is an important consideration when planning capital expenditures. Cost of surgical robots, cost of operating a robotic case which includes, but is not limited to, disposables, supplies and staff vs. the reimbursement to obtain an adequate return on investment are factors to be considered.

7 ASCs' biggest accomplishments
Jackie McLaughlin, RN. Administrator at Northwoods Surgery Center (Virginia, Minn.): Our biggest accomplishment is staff retention and maintaining morale throughout the surgical center. Not only are we constantly faced with rapidly changing developments in learning about COVID-19, we also have been diligently keeping up with recommendations from the CDC in regards to COVID-19. In addition to the COVID-19 stressors, we were up for our Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care recertification this year, which adds another level of anxiety and stress to the team. It has been a year of unknowns and changes. The team has adapted and worked together to navigate through all the stressors that they face daily.

3 government trends keeping ASC leaders up at night
Raghu Reddy, chief administrative officer, SurgCenter of Western Maryland (Cumberland): The legislation I'm most interested in at the federal level promotes reimbursement parity between ASCs and hospital-based outpatient departments. Freestanding ASCs are historically paid significantly lower than HOPDs for providing the same service at a low cost, and ASCs still deliver the highest quality of care. I believe in pay-for-performance, and the ASCs should be rewarded by the payers appropriately for exceeding the quality of care and providing superior patient outcomes.

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