Study finds fewer adverse events after treatment at ASCs vs. HOPDs — 6 takeaways

Patients treated in an ASC are less likely to be admitted to a hospital or visit an emergency room in a short period after outpatient surgery, according to an independent study published in the Journal of Health Economics.

The study compared ASCs and HOPDs on two quality of care measures: inpatient admission and ER visits on the same day, seven or 30 days after an outpatient procedure.

Here are six takeaways.

1. The study focused on physicians who operate in both ASCs and HOPDs and analyzed the 10 most common procedures by ASC volume in 2007.

2. Researchers examined variation in Medicare facility payments to estimate how treatment setting impacted patient outcomes. This methodology was used to ensure results showed differences in quality of care rather than differences in patient health.

3. As predicted ASC payment rates increase, patients are more likely to be treated in an ASC, the study found.

4. Researchers concluded ASC treatment reduces the probability of same day, seven-day and 30-day inpatient admissions and ER visits relative to HOPDs.

5. The study determined the rate of post-procedure adverse events decreased for both low and high-risk patients.

6. Researchers found evidence that ASC treatment may reduce medical complications and ER visits. They found no evidence of a statistically significant relationship between ASC treatment and ER visits for infections.

"The findings in this paper indicate that ASCs provide high quality services and suggest that promoting greater use of ASCs may lead to healthcare cost savings and overall welfare gains," the authors said.

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