Controlling the 'paradigm of care' in ASCs: 1 CEO on balancing independence with profit

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The pandemic accelerated the quantity and complexity of procedures performed in ASCs, leading to an increase in partnerships and consolidation in the industry.

Chas Sanders, founder and CEO of Margin, a company that manages procurement for 31 outpatient procedural facilities in 10 states, spoke with Becker's ASC Review on the balance between ASC independence and profitability.

Question: On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to you that ASCs are independent? 

Chas Sanders: Eight out of 10. There is a point to which scale can be a detriment. Meaning, if you have 10 centers and open two more, then the concern for price erosion is high with industry. Whereas, if you leverage the 12 centers at once, you may do better negotiating. Additionally, a large reason why physicians open centers is to control their paradigm of care. In many circumstances, that is catering to the specific needs of a community.  As organizations scale, so does the standardization of care that could diminish some of the original appeal.

Q: What's the most significant thing you've learned about ASCs in the past year?

CS: Resiliency and strategy. We get so focused on day-to-day operations that the right strategic planning doesn't occur. With a down-tick of cases due to the pandemic, many of our customer partners have found the bandwidth to focus on how to grow, the patient experience and the two-year horizon. This is allowing them to offer the best product in their communities.

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