Physicians & ASCs: The perfect pairing?

ASCs can not only provide financial opportunities for physicians, but they also can offer a more ideal work experience and an opportunity for autonomy. 

While physicians are flocking to employed models at an increasing scale, many are still prioritizing independence, making ASCs an ideal workplace. 

"The ability to control their own protocols and office efficiency has driven many of the training physicians I work with to want to have their own practices," Joe Greene, MD, the co-founder of Louisville (Ky.) Hip & Knee Institute, told Becker's. "Paramount to the success of those private practices is ASC ownership."

The next generation of physicians is also seeking a work-life balance that ASCs can offer. With set schedules and a smaller team, most ASCs can ensure physicians a structure that many employed models cannot. 

A smaller team can also mean a more enjoyable work environment. For physicians at Central California Endoscopy Center in Fresno, for example, working at an ASC means being more invested in the teams' success, according to administrator Cindy Vasquez, RN. 

"Our center has 18 physicians who take pride in calling this ASC their home. They are invested in the success of the center as much as any of the administrative team," she said. "Being engaged in meetings and offering suggestions to improve processes make for ASC success."

Additionally, according to Cherise Brown, administrator of Andover (Kan.) Ambulatory Surgery Center, physicians also prefer ASCs because turnaround time is quicker and the infection rate at an ASC is minimal. 

"In my experience, physicians prefer an ASC setting over the hospital when possible. They have more autonomy in an ASC versus hospital due to strict regulations in a hospital," she said. 

There's also the financial bonus — physicians can win big by investing in an ASC. 

"Ancillary service revenue can reflect up to 50 to 60 percent of a private practicing physician's income which, unfortunately, short of gain-sharing opportunities or partial ASC ownership, is usually unavailable in a large healthcare system-employed practice situation," Jack Bert, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Woodbury (Minn.) Bone & Joint, told Becker's.

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