Becker's was joined by 32 leaders who discussed the increasing consolidation of the ASC industry.
Here are three factors that could push ASCs to consolidate:
1. ASCs in certificate-of-need states
ASCs in states with certificate-of-need laws — which require healthcare providers, including ASCs, to receive permission to build facilities, make expansions or buy expensive equipment — could see more consolidation than others.
"Overall healthcare continues to see significant consolidation, but ASCs should be somewhat less impacted related to the ability of physicians to own their own facilities — up to 100 percent of a facility," Adam Bruggeman, MD, CEO of San Antonio-based Texas Spine Care Center, told Becker's. "Certificate-of-need states will see higher consolidation while those states without certificate of need should see less consolidation when compared to the consolidation we see in the hospital market."
2. Single-specialty ASCs
Single-specialty ASCs could be more likely to consolidate because it can allow them to access economies of scale.
"Consolidation of single-specialty ASCs where only certain common surgical procedures are performed can result in better GPO contracts, more efficient supply management and improved revenues," Thomas Moshiri, MD, chief business officer of Scottsdale-based Arizona Pain Relief, told Becker's. "Add to that the efficiency that is derived from a patient safety and personnel standpoint of doing the same type of case over and over again. This is one direction in which ASC consolidation may move in the future."
3. ASCs in markets with strong health systems
ASCs in markets with strong healthcare systems could be more likely to consolidate so they can compete with the deep pockets of hospitals.
"In some areas, private ASCs seem to be booming. However, in my area, private ASCs are struggling to survive competing against big healthcare systems," Fawn Esser-Lipp, BSN, executive director of Franklin, Wis.-based The Surgery Center, told Becker's. "Short answer is that the consolidation trend will be dependent on the area. I do expect to see more ASCs combining their resources and forming their own MSO."