Finding the Best Hospital Partner for Your ASC

At the 12th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven Conference in Chicago on June 13, Nap Gary, JD, chief operating officer, and Jeffrey Simmons, chief development officer, of Regent Surgical Health, shared best practices for ambulatory surgery centers seeking hospital partners.

While ASC growth has been on the rise over the last decade – 3,000 ASCs in the U.S. in 2000 grew to 5,300 in 2013 – growth has mostly stagnated in the last three years. “We’ve reached a level of maturity in this industry, and the downward pressure has taken us down to nearly zero growth,” said Mr. Gary.

What does this mean for the ASC industry?

Expect consolidation, said Mr. Gary. If your center does consider a partner, it’s critical that the decision is made carefully, with close consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of any potential partner, be it a national ASC company or a hospital partner.

Mr. Simmons shared what to look for in a hospital partner, lessons he said he’s learned from Regent’s 14 years in business.

First, hospital partners should allow physicians to have majority governance in the center, which gives physicians a sense of the control. This is the case even if the hospital has ownership control, which is required to leverage the higher reimbursement rates hospita-majority ownership brings.

The hospital should also be willing to have its CEO and CFO sit on the board of directors. This helps them to better understand and support the center, which will be important for its success.

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