What ASCs are up against in 2023

Inflation, labor shortages, and disruptions are just a few of the challenges ASCs are up against in 2023.

David Dobrzykowski, PhD, director of Walton College Healthcare Initiatives in Fayetteville, Ark., connected with Becker's to answer, "What does 2023 have in store for the ASC industry?"

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Dr. David Dobrzykowski: Inflation, labor shortages, and disruptions will be key issues facing Ambulatory Surgical Centers in 2023.

1. Hospitals will likely face increased inflationary pressure in 2023. However, the good news for ASCs is that manufacturers in higher margin categories (i.e., medical devices) seem to be less likely to pass on these higher input costs to providers than manufacturers of low margin medical products. ASCs may benefit as higher margin categories represent a greater share of their supply mix than general acute care hospitals.

2. Labor costs and related shortages remain a major concern of health systems in 2023. However, ASCs provide a much more predictable, lower stress, work environment for clinicians than their acute care counterparts. This ought to shelter ASCs from the full effects of labor shortages and costs.

3. Supply disruptions cause costly product substitutions that will likely continue to plague hospitals in 2023. This is particularly bad news for ASCs because a large portion of their supply costs are rooted in a smaller number of high-cost items (i.e., devices). If a disruption or substation occurs in a key category for an ASC, they will likely feel the impact more than an acute care hospital that has a broader supply (stock keeping unit) mix.

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