Some ASCs benefit from partnering with hospitals for contracting and supply costs.
Zachary Welch, administrator of Raleigh, N.C.-based Wake Orthopaedics, spoke with Becker's ASC Review on his predictions around industry consolidation.
Question: What outside force do you see as the biggest disrupter of the ASC industry? Why?
Zachary Welch: The continued expansion of procedures that will move from inpatient only to the ASC environment will continue to force ASCs to remain innovative and capable of taking on these services. Continued advancements in anesthesia, pain management and postoperative care have positively reinforced the shift of cases that were previously viewed as only possible within the four walls of a hospital. We’ve already experienced this shift from some payers and would anticipate future CMS communication to include additions to the list of codes that will move away from inpatient-only for the right patients.
Q: What are your bold predictions on industry consolidation in the next five years?
ZW: We will see a significant increase in partnerships between ASCs and hospital systems. Contract negotiations, supply/implant costs and addressing increasing regulations are all areas these partnerships are likely to mutually benefit from, while also addressing payer requests to move various procedures out of the hospital to the ASC environment. ASCs can help large systems address efficiency opportunities while also serving as a focal point for additional innovation and expansion of various services.