Orthopedics, ophthalmology and gastroenterology are "the big three" of ambulatory surgery centers and are the driving specialties behind profitable centers.
Marsha Rowe, RN, is the administrator of Lumberton, N.C.-based The Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park. Ms. Rowe's center features a mix of cases with an emphasis on the big three.
Becker's ASC Review spoke to Ms. Rowe about The Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park and the aforementioned big three specialties.
Question: The Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park offers procedures in a wealth of specialities including the big three, why is it so important to have a diversified caseload?
Marsha Rowe: Increased patient volume is key for success in the ASC world.
We strive to provide safe and efficient care in multiple specialties because the transition from the hospital setting to an ambulatory one is a reality.
Patients and physicians want the convenience of having their surgery done as an outpatient and the third-party reimbursement companies look favorably on the cost effectiveness of such settings.
Q: How does the surgery center continue to grow its specialities?
MR: We have recruited a new ophthalmologist, and orthopedic surgeon. We will move toward a total joint replacement program when we recruit another orthopedic surgeon who has expertise in this specialty.
Our hospital partner is actively recruiting a new GI physician. In an effort to gain new business one of our gastroenterologists received training and certification for insertion of a gastric balloon as a minimally invasive procedure for weight loss and has performed seven cases in the past twelve months.
Q: If you were brought into a new surgery center and were tasked with implementing one of the above specialities, which one would you choose and why?
MR: In 2014 I was tasked with opening this new ASC so I chose to focus on and implement all three of the specialties.
I am aware that reimbursement is usually higher for orthopedic patients, but with the aging population we treat and with cataract cases on the rise, we have an obligation to take care of these patients.
Learn more from Ms. Soule at the 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs in October 2017. Click here for more information.