Keys for ASC growth: Partnerships, joint ventures and contracting

While ASCs have key opportunities for growth in the expansion of services being offered, including a migration of orthopedic, spine and cardiac procedures, new partnerships and ownership models can also be critical for development. 

Three ASC administrators and executives spoke with Becker's about the expansion opportunities that lie in vendor contracts, flexible ownership models and employer contracting. 

Joseph D'Agostino. Administrator at Advanced Surgery Center Perimeter (Atlanta) and Gwinnett Advanced Surgery Center (Snellville, Ga.): The biggest opportunities for growth in the ASC industry currently are:

- Pent-up surgery demand due to the pandemic.

- The continuous trend of more complex, higher-acuity procedures moving out of the hospital outpatient side and into ASCs.

- Out-of-pocket cost savings for patients.

- Key service lines/specialties with projected substantial case volume growth are spine, orthopedics and cardiology. 

- Flexible facility ownership models — wholly owned, general partnerships/limited partnerships and joint ventures — all with various ownership structures. 

- Local market changes in organizational structure in both physician practices and healthcare systems. 

- Legislative changes — elimination of certificate of need laws in various states. 

Melissa Rice. Administrator of Ravine Way Surgery Center (Glenview, Ill.): I can see partnerships with vendors and ASCs booming. Vendors know their top performers and can utilize that to bring potential surgeons to ASCs. With that, the ASCs can utilize better pricing with case volume and boost their bottom line. 

Thomas Moshiri, MD. Chief Business Officer at Arizona Pain Relief (Scottsdale): There are huge opportunities for the ASC industry, especially for single-specialty practices, by leveraging excellent care and at a lower average price per case type as compared to what employers are paying for healthcare. This can be done by contracting directly with the employer for specific services. Imagine an employer spends $2 million on average over a trailing 12 months on pain management services. If you could provide better care and at 75 percent of the cost the employer is paying, you would secure a great recurring revenue source, not have to deal with commercial carriers and be able to utilize dollar cost averaging to reduce the ASC's cost per case. Win-win scenario!

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