5 Trends for GI ASCs From Barry Tanner of Physicians Endoscopy

Barry Tanner is president and CEO of Physicians Endoscopy, which specializes in development and management of freestanding, single-specialty ASCs. He identifies five trends for GI-driven ASCs.

 

1. Slight decline in volume. Volume was down at the beginning of the year, then it went back up and now it's down again slightly. About half of Physicians Endoscopy centers are down 1-2 percent in volume and the other half are flat or up. "I hate to call it a trend yet, but it could shape into one," Mr. Tanner says. "As joblessness lingers, savings are starting to run out and we're seeing a more conservative decision process on the part of patients for what they see as elective procedures."


2. More patients with high-deductibles. "In this period of uncertainty, with ObamaCare on the horizon, employers are using higher deductibles to pass on health insurance rate increases to their workers," Mr. Tanner says. He believes the trend toward higher deductibles can only harm volumes.


3. More colonoscopies next year. The elimination on Jan. 1 of the Medicare copayment for elective colonoscopies will have a very positive impact, Mr. Tanner says. ASCs need to reach out to family physicians who are responsible for many of the colonoscopy referrals. "We need to point out the risks of colon cancer," he says. "In past years we haven't looked as aggressively at colonoscopies."

 

4. More physician interest in ASCs. As physicians see their reimbursements squeezed, Mr. Tanner says they need to supplement their business through ownership in an ASC. "A great proportion of their reimbursements are at or near Medicare levels," he says.


5. New ASC growth in CON states. Endoscopy centers have not yet reached the saturation point, particularly in states with tough certificate of need regulations. Some of these states have severely restricted ASC development in the past, but Mr. Tanner believes CON authorities are looking more favorably on ASCs because they are less costly than HOPDs.

 

Learn more about Physicians Endoscopy.

 

Read more insight from leadership at Physicians Endoscopy:

 

- 8 Ways GI Centers Can Prosper in the Next Five Years

 

- 8 Ways ASCs Will be Impacted by Health Reform With Barry Tanner of Physicians Endoscopy

 

- 3 Ways to Reduce Costs in a GI-Driven ASC: Insight From Angela Wustner of Physicians Endoscopy

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