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Recruiting physicians for ASCs — ASCOA's Jeff Péo shares insights

To stay lucrative in the competitive healthcare environment, ASCs must bring in a high volume of cases.

"I think the biggest challenge in recruiting for most markets is that there are very few independent physicians that are not already in an ASC.," says Jeff Péo, chief development officer for Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America. "It is difficult to find physicians who do not have ownership in a surgery center or employment contracts with hospitals."

ASCs must recruit physicians with these challenges in mind and work to recruit physicians with a strategy in place. Networking is key for any career, but is particularly essential for ASCs to recruit the best physicians. One great strategy is to get your physicians to help you recruit other physicians.

"If physicians are talking with other physicians to see if they would be interested in coming over and exploring ownership, you will get a lot further than an administrator calling physicians to recruit them for their centers," Mr. Péo says.

ASC administrators should also be aware of the market and the status of different physicians. If administrators are aware of physicians' employment contracts, they can strategically recruit those physicians to maximize the use of their time.

"ASC administrators have to be aware of physicians coming off employment contracts and those physicians who are choosing not to renew contracts," Mr. Péo explains. "They will be looking for centers to perform their cases."

Once ASC administrators become aware of physicians coming off of contracts, they have to make the ASC an attractive option for physicians to perform their cases. ASCs have certain advantages over hospitals and other healthcare systems, and administrators can highlight these advantages to recruit more physicians for ASCs.

"One advantage is quick turnaround time. You want to offer them the best block times to make it convenient for them to use the ASC," Mr. Péo says. "Also, you will have great staff to ensure the physician that the ASC's staff is well-trained."

Great staff and convenient times are primary motivators to recruit physicians and could be the deciding factor for a physician to invest in an ASC. In addition to these drivers, an ASC may be a superior option for physicians if the center has high quality measures.  Quality measures are often prioritized as the CMS imposes more regulations on quality data in healthcare facilities. Healthcare facilities are constantly seeking to improve quality, and an ASC that is ahead of the curve will prove to be a better option for physicians to perform their cases.

Mr. Péo says, "I often show the ASC's quality numbers to show the potential physician partner how well our center is doing to ensure their patients will not get sick when they are here."

Recruiting physicians will always be a priority for ASCs as cases ensure the success of a center. As for the future, recruiting physicians will continue to be the main priority for many centers. Mr. Péo believes ASCs will always be a preferred option for physicians to perform cases. He says, "There will always be ownership offered to physicians and those physicians that have an entrepreneurial mindset will always look for a surgery center to have those cases."

Jeff Péo will be sharing his insights about recruiting physicians at Becker's October Conference held October 22 to October 24 in a presentation titled, "We Need More Volume — Recruiting Physicians and Cases." Click here to learn more and register.

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