Hospital Joint Venture ASCs: The Model of the Future

In a webinar titled "Hospital Joint Venture ASCs: Why Less is More," CEO of Blue Chip Surgical Partners Jeff Leland and President of SNVMC/Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Megan Perry, discussed an effective partnership between physicians and hospitals on a joint venture surgery center and where the future is headed for boutique ASCs.

In northern Virginia, Sentara has partnered with Blue Chip and area physicians on joint venture spine-focused surgery centers. "One of the things we were looking for in partnering with an ASC organization was figuring out what our surgeons wanted," said Ms. Perry. Through this partnership, they found surgeons in their area wanted:

•    More control over their environment and equipment used
•    Ability to manage their schedule around their personal lives
•    Comfortable operating space
•    More productivity and efficiency
•    Economic stability
•    Exceptional patient experience

In the current joint venture, physicians own majority share in the center, which is a model Mr. Leland champions. However, the contract is written so if the hospital needs to purchase additional shares to become the majority owner in the future, they are able to do so at fair market value.

According to Mr. Leland, large multispecialty surgery centers are on their way out and highly focused boutique surgery centers are on their way in as the healthcare system focuses more on quality of care and efficiency than filling beds and providing a wide variety of services.

"The problem with traditional multispecialty ASCs in my observation is that most have too many specialties, which drives up costs, too many owners and too many of the wrong owners," he says. "In a 40 physician group, there might be 10 that carry the center, 10 that show up if the administrator pulls them by the collar and 10 that have never set foot in the ASC. We think the future is highly focused experts that understand what they are doing from a specialty standpoint."

As a result, surgery centers with fewer surgeons involved all focused on the same specialty are likely to become more popular in the future. Fewer surgeons means each surgeon captures a higher percentage of revenues from the surgery center and change is more dynamic because every partner can be informed about the issues instead of just a few surgeon representatives.

The model of a smaller facility joint venture allows the group to be nimble enough to participate in new payment models coming in the future. "When you have an opportunity to take a bundled payment and surgeons are all from the same specialty, they are more well-informed and engaged, so they are quick to become involved," says Mr. Leland.

Within the presentation, Mr. Leland and Ms. Perry also discussed:

•    Creating joint venture boutique surgery centers for other specialties, such as women's services and otolaryngology
•    Financial metrics for physician ownership of the joint venture surgery centers
•    Surgeon recruitment opportunities
•    Establishing these center in certificate of need states

Access an audio version of the webinar here.

Access the PDF of the webinar here.

Learn more about Blue Chip Surgical Partners.

More Articles on Surgery Centers:

7 Steps to Fix a Broken Physician/Hospital ASC Joint Venture

6 Goals for ASCs for the Remainder of 2012

6 Secrets to a Profitable GI-Driven ASC

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