Independent ASCs the 'sweet spot' for private equity, administrator says

Private equity investment is booming in healthcare, and some ASC leaders think independent ASCs will be key to industry growth. 

Joe Peluso is the administrator at Aestique Surgery Center in Greensburg, Pa. He spoke with Becker's ASC Review on how private equity investment will continue to shift the ASC market.

Question: How do you predict private equity investment will affect the ASC industry?

Joe Peluso: ASC physician leaders are seeking new ways to enable them to better position themselves to manage the future. A majority of ASCs are owned by physicians. Private equity and venture capital groups are assessing deploying major capital investments in ASCs, especially as insurers and CMS are transitioning their more complex, high-cost surgical procedures to ASCs due to cost savings with safe, convenient and quality results.  

Private equity groups are heavily investing in expensive virtual functionality digital platforms as ASCs continue to be the preferred option by payers and patients for an increasing variety of procedures. While the competition in the marketplace for services is growing, patient engagement platforms will be able to assist ASCs in streamlining operations, lower the cost of care and improve the patient experience. 

The independent ASCs could become the sweet spot for private equity groups to invest in technology as independent, physician-owned ASCs will be challenged to invest in technology and state-of-the-art armamentarium to accommodate new and expanded procedures to continue to grow and retain patients.

Potential disadvantages of private equity groups ownership in ASCs are that physician owners currently stimulate innovation and progress with shared risk and reward. This leads to a high-quality clinical environment, convenience for patients and a better direct connection for patients to physician owners who have direct knowledge of the patient's clinical situation. Stay tuned!

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