What this wholly physician-owned Pennsylvania ASC considers before adding procedures

Melissa Weik, RN, administrator of Center Lancaster, Pa.-based North Pointe Surgery, spoke with Becker's ASC Review about the important metrics to consider before tacking on a new procedure.  

Note: These responses have been slightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: How should ASC administrators evaluate which procedures they should add to an ASC and what metrics should they employ?
 
Melissa Weik: There are two things to consider: profitability and surgeon convenience.   
 
[For profitability], conduct a preliminary case costing analysis done. Surgeons should be able to provide supply list, length of time in operating room and then staffing through the continuum. Comparing the estimated total expense against all contracted reimbursement will determine if the case will be profitable.
 
[Surgeon convenience] At our ASC that is 100 percent physician owned, we do cases that are not very profitable or are done at a loss because it is easier to have the surgeon at one place (our center) for a full day; then to have him start at the hospital with the nonprofitable case and then come to the center. Increased case volume drives down the fixed costs.
 
Q: Which procedure is your center eyeing currently?

MW: We have not added any new procedures in the last two years.  We will be adding new procedures in the very near future when a fellowship trained foot/ankle surgeon joins our sister group. These cases were not part of the budget/forecasted revenue, expenses or income, so anything that he does will be a positive to the bottom line.
 
Q: What procedures do you see more surgery centers adding in the future?
 
MW: I foresee a shift of hospital outpatient department-only or even inpatient-only procedures to the ASC setting. ASCs are saving insurance companies and federal programs tons of money. Insurance companies are going to help drive the shift.

Learn more from Ms. Weik at the 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs in October 2017. Click here for more information.

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