How an Illinois-based ASC is boosting physician recruitment: 3 key questions with Alfonso del Granado

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Alfonso del Granado, administrator of Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Ashton Center for Day Surgery, sees the erosion of independent practitioners as the biggest issue for his center today. However, he's taking steps to find new and innovative ways to attract patients and boost case volume.

Mr. del Granado will speak at the Becker's ASC 25th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, October 18-20, 2018 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

Here, Mr. del Granado answers three questions about Ashton Center for Day Surgery's growth.

Question: What is the biggest issue your ASC is facing today? What strategy are you using to overcome it?

Alfonso del Granado: While there are many challenges today, the largest single issue we are facing is the erosion of independent practitioners as large groups acquire practices or recruit surgeons straight out of residency. Large groups tend to lock their practitioners into either hospitals or group-owned ASCs, making it more difficult to recruit them to our independent centers. The approach we are focusing on is finding solo or small groups of practitioners who are interested in partnership opportunities and would make a good fit — not an easy proposition.

Too many surgeons have unrealistic ideas of the value of their practices to an ASC, or expect shares to be priced in ways that cannot pass regulatory muster, or simply have demands or expectations that are not compatible with the overall welfare of the ASC's partners. A good partner will balance personal needs against the realities of running a profitable ASC in a way that benefits everyone in a fair way, while maintaining excellence in healthcare delivery.

To overcome these obstacles, we have hired marketing and recruiting teams with contracts that align their compensation with our long-term interests. We previously had mixed results with teams that would demand upfront or periodic payment with bonuses that were only a small percentage overall, and these incentives perhaps were not sufficient motivation.

Q: How is value-based care affecting your ASC or your plans for the future?

ADG: Value-based care has not yet directly affected our ASCs, but we are aggregating, analyzing and benchmarking quality data more aggressively than ever in order to provide a clear picture to payers that their total cost per episode of care will be lower overall at our facilities than with local competitors.

Q: Over the next two to three years, what is the biggest opportunity for growth of your ASC?

ADG: Our center is not yet performing total joints and that is currently our focus.

More articles on surgery centers:
After 47-year moratorium, Massachusetts has 1st new ASC—5 insights
3 ASCs, Cigna settle alleged ERISA violation suit
Former ASC manager faces 30 years in prison for stealing $514k: 5 things to know

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