The future is bright for ASCs, but amid rising costs and declining reimbursement, many leaders stress the importance of focused growth plans and other strategies to win in their market.
Five ASC leaders joined Becker's to discuss which ASCs will win in their market.
Editor's note: These responses were edited lightly for length and clarity.
Michael Boblitz. CEO of Tallahassee (Fla.) Orthopedic Clinic: 1. Strong, highly reputable orthopedic and spine practices that hold a dominant market share in their region of service. Small, fragmented groups do not have the strength to survive and continually grow cases at an ASC. A famous and now retired dean and CEO of one of the top health systems in the world once told me the hospital (or a surgical center) is nothing but a stage. It's his job and the job of any CEO to recruit the best doctors in the world to work from that stage.
2. Tight alignment with what I consider to be critical strategic partners that include the region's largest primary care groups, as well as the leading hospital(s) in the area that embrace collaboration (rather than competition).
3. A facility conducive to successfully caring for spine and joint replacement patients, such as Ritz Carlton-like extended recovery suites, and a comprehensive robotics portfolio that includes but not limited to an O-Arm Spine Navigation System, Mako and Rosa.
Luke Lambert. CEO of Ambulatory Surgery Centers of America (Hanover, Mass.): ASCs which have strong payer contracts and management will retain and attract excellent surgeons and prosper.
Woody Moore. Independent, physician-ventured ASC consultant: Don't try to be all things to all publics; rather, strive to be small, nimble, niche-dominant and lean.
Tina DiMarino, DNP, RN. Administrator of Mid-Atlantic Surgery Pavilion (Aberdeen, Md.): To be honest, I believe all ASCs in their respective markets serve a value-based purpose and therefore will "win." Hospital-owned joint ventures provide their patients with state-of-the-art facilities where the physician's may maintain more control over their patient's care when compared to the hospital OR setting. ASCs owned by management companies win by providing standardized care in a manner that is patient-focused. This while also saving insurers upward of 30 percent or more for the same procedure done in the hospital or hospital outpatient department setting. Finally, physician-owned centers win by affording their physician owners the most autonomy in the delivery of their care to the patient population they serve.
Thomas DeBerardino, MD. Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UT Health San Antonio: I think the better an ASC can fill all time/rooms possible, the better off they will be. It seems the best model is likely a hybrid ASC that is actually a multispecialty ASC, not just orthopedics, for example. Best to include super fast/flexible "pain" (injection) cases as well as standard compendium of orthopedics, as well as plastics, and even urology and gastroenterology as they are all now image/video-intensive and can share the same networked platforms to maximize the shared cost of doing business and still keep the rooms full all day all the time.