The right and wrong partners for joint venture ASCs

Jeffrey Flynn, administrator and COO of Gramercy Surgery Center in New York City, examines how ASCs can develop successful joint venture partnerships with hospitals and other organizations.

Mr. Flynn will share his expertise as a speaker at the Becker's ASC 26th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, Oct. 24-26, 2019 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at mjodoin@beckershealthcare.com. 

Question: What is your best advice for ensuring hospitals and physicians form healthy ASC joint ventures?

Jeffrey Flynn: The physicians and the hospital administration need to have a clear picture of what the model will be. If they agree, then they have to establish ground rules as to who is responsible for what and establish agreed upon checks and balances.

Q: What works well in terms of building a strong culture and operational structure for the ASC?

JF: It is key that everyone on the team knows their job is part of the success of the ASC. I find it crucial during the orientation stage of new employees to see what everyone else does in the ASC. It's essential that the administrative people, not just managers, but billers, schedulers and receptionists understand what an ASC is, the services it provides and how. They can then recognize how their role helps accomplish that successful operation of the ASC.

Q: What doesn't work well to foster a successful joint venture? What should ASC physicians and administrators avoid?

JF: If the hospital has a lot of directors and vice presidents that are eager to get involved in every stage of the process, this is a red flag. Very often in these large bureaucracies, people attempt to tie their name to the success of the project or worse become obstructive claiming 'It's a good thing I was here.' If the hospital team is made up of job justification people, then the project won't go well, and the ASC physicians and administrator should move on to another possible partner. Not all hospitals are like this, but if you have a hospital president or CEO that surrounds themselves with people like this, look for a new partner. You are a small business, and at the end of the day, the people at the hospital aren't putting in their own money, the physician is. There are plenty of success stories of joint ventures but there are equally as many projects that never got off the ground for these reasons.

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