The lowering of the colorectal cancer screening age and the acceleration of the outpatient migration leaves gastroenterology ASCs and endoscopy centers primed for growth.
Three gastroenterology leaders joined Becker's to discuss tips for ASCs to thrive in competitive markets.
1. Creating cost savings and quality controls
Gabriel Ionescu, MD. Gastroenterologist at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (New York City): ASCs will have to push for more procedures by creating cost savings and improving quality controls (i.e., shifting gastrointestinal cases to high-volume gastroenterologists with good quality benchmarks records). It is anticipated that lowering the colorectal cancer screening age will be beneficial to the ASCs, as these are younger, healthier patients
2. Exceeding customer expectations
Jason Richardson. CEO of Gastroenterology of the Rockies (Louisville, Colo.): To thrive in a competitive ASC market, ASCs must exceed customer expectations. Clinical outcomes and safety are table stakes. The community will choose the ASCs that provide convenient scheduling, friendly staff, clear communication and punctuality.
3. Strategic recruitment
Fray Arroyo-Mercado, MD. Gastroenterology fellow at University of New Mexico (Albuquerque): I think that ASCs can recruit physicians as professional contractors and also incentivize them with the ability to collect the physician fee for procedures. By doing this, physicians might feel more interested in joining them and be more productive. It is very advantageous because with a 1099 [tax form], we can deduct all of our expenses.
4. Introducing new technology
Dr. Ionescu: Introducing new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, will increase efficiency and quality while training extenders to perform simple gastrointestinal procedures. This will add value, especially in underserved areas. Challenges will continue to focus on case triage, retention of quality proceduralists and ancillary staff and supply chain disruptions.