How 7 ASCs are focusing on growth

The ongoing pandemic and newer COVID-19 surges nationwide have shifted longterm growth plans for many ASCs.

Seven ASC leaders spoke with Becker's on how they are planning for growth in 2022. 

Question: How is your facility eyeing growth in the next year?

Heather Self, RN. Administrative Director of Embassy Surgery Center (Lancaster, Calif.): Our growth model remains on track despite the surge in new COVID-19 cases related to the delta variant. We are expanding our orthopedic service line by adding additional orthopedic surgeons that complement our current orthopedists. We are also working on expanding our outpatient urology and neurosurgery services offered. 

Andy Wilkinson. Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Ambulatory Surgery (Boston): As a multisite management company, Shields Health Care Group is committed to expanding our services at ASCs as we recognize that they can maximize efficiency for our surgical partner while enabling our patients to access high-quality, affordable surgical services. We’re continuing to focus on our core business of musculoskeletal cases. We’ve been working with our surgeon partners to continue to complete total joint procedures and have even started total shoulder procedures with our commercial population. We’re also starting to engage in some referral-management programs that focus on high-quality, lower-cost care. These referral programs should help to bolster growth in our core musculoskeletal business as self-insured companies start to look for ways to reduce their health benefit expenses.

Michael Powers. Administrator of Children's West Surgery Center (Knoxville, Tenn.): We expect continued growth over the next year. We have seen an increase in volumes this year over last year (pandemic year) and expect this trend to continue.

Brock Kreienbrink, MSN, RN. Administrator and Director of Nursing for the Outpatient Surgery Center of Central Florida (Wildwood): Growth in 2022 will come from the addition of another procedure room that we have begun construction on, and we are credentialing another physician at our facility. Certain items that we are debating whether it will be worth our investment are the inflation of staffing cost/labor market and CMS' new ruling with the inpatient-only list. Since we are a cardiac-only facility, this change in CMS could hurt us significantly.

David Silvernale. CFO of MNGI Digestive Health (Minneapolis): We continue to see an increase in demand for high-quality endoscopy procedures performed in our ASCs. This has resulted in the development of two new four-procedure room endoscopy centers that will open in 2022. These centers will provide additional capacity to meet the demand for services that continue to increase due to the lowering of the recommended CRC screening age and value-based and shared-savings contracts. This has led to the potential for partnership opportunities with local health systems that continue to look for ways to lower the total cost of care and free up their hospital surgical space for services that are appropriate for the site of service. We are also currently looking for the appropriate space to add an additional endoscopy center in 2023.

Alfonso del Granado. Administrator of Covenant High Plains Surgery Center (Lubbock, Texas): We are projecting continuing recovery growth for the remainder of the year, plus organic growth for this year and next. Strategically, our primary focus for growth is going to be on adding more complex procedures, and our secondary focus will be on retaining the surgeons who migrated our way from area hospitals due to scheduling issues there caused by COVID-19 issues.

Matthew Solis. Administrator of Downtown Surgery Center (Orlanda, Fla.): We are looking to expand our orthopedic and spine service lines with new physicians, as well as develop current volume with our established physicians. We are also looking toward our physician partners to be part of business development and speak to their colleagues about the center and the quality of care at Downtown Surgery Center

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