A 65,000-square-foot Steadman Clinic ASC opened in Basalt, Colo., in April, led by its affiliates Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital, Vail (Colo.) Health and Gainesville, Fla.-based Orthopedic Care Partners. Its affiliate and neighboring clinic, Aspen Valley Hospital, expected to lose 70 percent of its in-house surgical revenue for 2022 with the clinic's opening, according to a Dec. 15 report from the Aspen Times.
Though the ASC opened in April, it did not become fully operational until recently, leaving Aspen with months of outpatient orthopedic procedures it was not expecting to shoulder in 2022, throwing off its budgeting for the year.
While it planned to lose a large chunk of surgical revenue this calendar year, it ended up with unplanned orthopedic surgery revenue that created an undesirable Medicare reimbursement dynamic, according to the report.
Medicare reimburses the Aspen hospital on a cost-to-charge basis, and this year, its charges were up $23.6 million this year compared to 2021.
The hospital believes that this should be offset in 2023, now that Steadman Clinic is fully operational for patient procedures.
"Most of the commercial surgeries will migrate to the surgery center (Steadman Clinic), which translates to a much higher Medicare share of our revenues for next year," Ginette Sebenaler, Aspen Valley's CEO, told the Aspen Times.
Aspen Hospital employees, excluding physicians, will see a 6 percent wage increase across the board going into the new year thanks to extra Medicare reimbursement funds as Steadman alleviates some of its surgical burden.