The greatest hits of the ASC industry: Joe Zasa on writing the 1st comprehensive ASC development & management book

Joe Zasa, founding partner and managing partner of ASD Management, published a first in the ASC industry — a book aimed at helping other industry leaders develop and manage ambulatory surgery centers efficiently. His book, Developing and Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers, provides healthcare professionals insight from Mr. Zasa and other experts in the ASC business.

 Question: What motivated you to write this book?

I felt theJoe Zasare was no comprehensive book on ASC management out there. It was my way of giving back to our industry so I could help administrators, business managers and people coming up in the business with some sort of guidelines for developing and managing ASCs.

This book really got started when I was reading a poker book and the author wrote the "No Limits" section himself and had his friends write about the different games. That's how we did this

book. I thought the best way to do it was to write about it and add several noted coauthors so we ended up with the "greatest hits" package of people in the industry with specialized knowledge in certain areas. That was the genesis of the book.

In order to write the book, which is the hardest thing I've ever done, I had to come up with a way of looking at it. I thought about it, and I was building my house at the same time and thought about it that way. You have the walls, which are the people such as the surgeons, anesthesiologists, staff and managers. You have to have the roof which is the leadership, and they protect the center and keep the raining from coming in. The leaders really set the tone for the center.

Q: What throughout your career has prepared you to write this book?

I have a degree in economics and a law degree from Washington and Lee University. I got into the surgery center business in 1992. I had a surgery center company with my brother Bob from 1992 to 1995. I did mostly development and legal work, and sold that company in late 1995. I ran surgery centers for six months and on June 1, 1996, we started ASD Management.

Q: What are key strategies for developing and managing ASCs?

The book essentially has two parts. The first part is tackling the fundamentals of developing and managing centers, and the second part is centered on experience in the field. One of my favorite chapters is about what college football teaches you about running surgery centers. To go off of sports, you could have great talent on the field, but if you don't have plays or a way of running the play, you won't be successful. How you manage that is really key.

The fundamental premise of the book is you have to have a systematic approach to running an ASC. You have to build a foundation. The four corner stones of the approach center on:

•    Patient care
•    Risk management
•    Managed care
•    Business office

Q: Is the book for other administrators? Who else can benefit from the book?

This book is for hospital administrators, people getting their MHA, nurses, ASC administrators, business managers and, of course, physicians. It is a guideline and a systemic approach. This is not an advertisement for ASD. It is like a golf book. This is how we swing the club, and these are the fundamental things we have to do. That's why I wrote the book — I want to give back to the industry and open up the discussion. This is the start and maybe other people will write more that will add to the conversation.  

Mr. Zasa's book is available for purchase on ASD Management's website and through Amazon.

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