ASC chains are looking to higher-acuity procedures over other growth strategies to facilitate revenue boosts, according to VMG Health's 2023 mergers and acquisitions report released March 21.
The migration of high-acuity procedures to the ASC setting increased in 2022, particularly in orthopedics, cardiology and higher-acuity spine procedures, according to the report. Orthopedics was the most common specialty served by ASCs in 2022.
In an Oct. 20 earnings call, Saum Sutaria, MD, CEO of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, USPI's parent company, said the chain is doubling down on its high-acuity growth strategy. He cited growth at an ASC in Tennessee, where the center boosted revenue by 46 percent by replacing high-volume, low-acuity procedures with high-acuity orthopedic cases.
Because of this growth, orthopedic procedures made up 20 percent of the company's year-to-date volume.
UnitedHealth Group's Optum, parent company of ASC chain SCA Health, is also looking to higher-acuity surgical procedures to lead growth, UnitedHealth Group CFO John Rex said in an Oct. 14 earnings call.
These high-acuity cases give ASCs the opportunity to make more money per case, and ASC chains are taking advantage of the opportunities, the report said.