Matt Kraemer, administrator of Northern Arizona Healthcare in Flagstaff, joined Becker's to discuss leadership and cost containment.
Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.
Question: What are smart ASC leaders doing right now?
Matt Kraemer: I believe highly engaged and thoughtful ASC leaders are constantly assessing and reassessing their performance in terms of quality and financial outcomes. Not to say that they are not focused on patient experience and staff engagement. However, review of contracts with third-party payers and medical suppliers, case throughput and margins are of even greater importance today due to rising costs of operations and dwindling margins. Case selection reviews, block utilization and operating room consolidation are never-ending tactics that can assist in improving performance while consuming leadership time and effort.
Q: What's losing ASCs money right now?
MK: ASCs are at risk of losing money for a variety of reasons. Premium labor costs, shortages of staff to assist in case completion, inflation increasing the cost of necessary medical supplies and case times all contribute to reduced margins and even financial losses in particular cases. The cost of doing business in the medical field is impacted by free market pricing and currently inflation, however, reimbursement for these services are fixed. This creates a unique challenge in the medical field as a whole, of how to provide the necessary services, while attempting to remain financially sustainable.