How ASCs, independent physicians can thrive in the next 10 years — 4 key strategies

Fred Davis, MD, president and CMO of ProCare PainSolutions and a clinical assistant professor at Lansing-based Michigan State University, has done extensive research on independent physician practices. He is an advocate of independence and developing key models and solutions to serve private practice physicians.

Over the next 10 years, Dr. Davis sees independent physicians being able to thrive in the right environment and offers four strategies for maintaining independence in the future.

Dr. Davis will be speaking at the Becker's 16th Annual Future of Spine + The Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. To learn more and register, click here. Contact Maura Jodoin at or Kristelle Khazzaka at for further information about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.

Question: Do you think physicians and ASCs will be able to maintain independence over the next decade? How can they prepare and what factors should they monitor closely?

Dr. Fred Davis: This is an interesting question since the healthcare system is complex with high degrees of interrelatedness between constituents. This will probably increase as the system consolidates overall. The short answer is yes, depending on circumstances.

There will always be niche specialties, such as plastic surgery and ophthalmology, that have demonstrated their ability to thrive as independent centers thus far and will most likely continue to do so. One of common threads between these two specialties is that they generally do not need the hospital treatment environment or resources. The majority of their work can be done in an ASC environment.
For others surgical specialties such as orthopedics, neurosurgery and urology, there is more of a need for relationships with hospitals for many of their other cases. This interdependence can result in dependency or a partnership depending on circumstances.

For example, cardiology practices have mostly been absorbed by institutions because they need hospital resources, such as immediate cardiac surgery and availability for catheterization labs. Physician specialties have several options to maintain a higher level of independence:

• They can collaborate with each other
• Be a majority partner with hospital or other healthcare enterprise
• Compete in value with a higher patient focus and more efficient work flow; more competitive pricing; the ability to pivot to new methods and service lines; and responding to trends.
• Contracting directly with employers.

More articles on surgery centers:
Catholic Health receives 1st approval to purchase 40% of NY ASC for $2.2M
7 statistics on ASC square footage across the US
The biggest challenge for ASCs developing bundled payments

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