Where 5 major ASC chains are focused in 2023 

Here is where five major ASC chains are focused on growth in 2023, ordered by number of ASCs:

United Surgical Partners International (Dallas)

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, the parent company of USPI, has been focusing on ASC development for years. The health system operates more than 445 ASCs and 24 surgical hospitals. 

In the first quarter, Tenet's ASC net operating revenues grew 22.6 percent year over year, to $905 million. The company projects that its ASC revenue will increase between $3.6 million and $3.7 million in the 2023 fiscal year. In the first quarter, the company saw growth in gastroenterology, urology, ENT and orthopedic cases. 

The company will continue to focus on ASC deals — USPI will pump $250 million into ASC mergers and acquisitions and plans to have more than 600 ASCs by 2025.

SCA Health (Deerfield, Ill.)

SCA Health, Optum's ASC arm, boasts about 320 ASCs with 1.43 million patient encounters annually.

Unlike Tenet, Optum is focusing on physician acquisition over ASC acquisition — the company employs 70,000, the largest employer of physicians in the country. The group has made several huge physician group acquisitions in the last year. 

For growth focuses, SCA Health is expanding past ASC management into specialty care. In May 2022, Surgical Care Affiliates rebranded to SCA Health and updated its logo to symbolize growth momentum and added a tagline: "The future of specialty care."

With this shift, Optum and SCA Health are looking at growth not just through the number of ASCs but also "the quality of care we provide, the proportion of spend in value-based care arrangements, [and] our increased connectivity to practices and health systems," CEO Caitlin Zulla told Becker's last year.

HCA Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn.)

HCA comprises 2,300 ambulatory care facilities, including more than 150 ASCs, freestanding emergency rooms, urgent care centers and physician clinics, according to its first-quarter earnings report. 

The company is continuing to double down on developing outpatient facilities and increasing outpatient procedure migration, it said in its first-quarter earnings call. The company has a "more significant investment" in its ASC development pipeline, as well as possible acquisitions in the works, CEO Sam Hazen said. 

Surgery Partners (Brentwood, Tenn.)

Surgery Partners is one of the largest ASC companies by market share, number of centers and number of physicians, and has seen huge growth in the last year.

The company spent almost $250 million on ASC acquisitions in 2022 and has inked three huge deals since April 28. The company started 2023 with $820 million in liquidity and has an eye on long-term growth.

The company is focusing on high-acuity orthopedic and cardiology procedures. 

"With an increase in the share of orthopedic and cardiac procedures moving into lower-cost, high-quality, short-stay surgical facilities, we are considering all options to capture our fair share, including sourcing and managing a robust M&A pipeline, as well as investments in robotic equipment, expanding existing facilities and leveraging our partnerships with ValueHealth and select health systems, as well as the ongoing development of de novo facilities," Eric Evans, CEO of Surgery Partners, said in a March 1 earnings call.

ValueHealth (Leawood, Kan.)

ValueHealth has more than 3,000 physicians, more than 50 ASCs and more than 30 health system partners. Last year, Surgery Partners affiliated with ValueHealth to build ASCs and deploy ValueHealth's value-based surgical programs across its surgery centers. The partnership will also aim to capitalize on cardiology's migration to outpatient settings.

As the healthcare industry slowly pivots to value-based care models, ValueHealth offers a value-based delivery system of hyperspecialty surgical programs, which includes bundled payment arrangements, provider risk-readiness and reinsurance solutions, automated claims administration and a surgery benefit program.

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