'The ASC industry is in a very strong position': 4 admins on recruiting talent

Some ASCs struggle to recruit staff amid the competition of hospitals' deeper pockets, but physician ownership and efficient schedules can give centers leverage. 

Four ASC leaders spoke with Becker's on strategies for ASCs to recruit physicians. 

Question: How can ASCs compete with hospitals to recruit top physician talent?

Editor's note: These answers were edited lightly for clarity and brevity. 

Barry Dison. Administrator of Advanced Surgical Care of Baton Rouge (La.): When it comes to competing with hospitals to recruit top physician talent, the ASC industry is in a very strong position. There are several incentives that will attract physicians to an ASC even though they may still retain privileges at a hospital. The first reason that I give to physicians considering an ASC is lifestyle changes and efficiency. The same surgeon performing the same procedures at a hospital may work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. while at an ASC we could do that lineup from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m — which would basically add four hours to their day. 

As we all know, time is money, and that physician can go see patients at their clinic, do more surgeries or make it on time to their child's event. Besides the improvement in their time and lifestyle, surgeons at an ASC will enjoy consistency and familiarity with our process and staff. We have very low turnover in the industry, and most ASCs are small enough that the administrator is readily available to address any issues on the spot without the need to go through the bureaucracy of a hospital setting. Staff consistency leads to better outcomes and patient safety as well. Finally, there is the financial incentive to join an ASC because the physician owner is able to participate in distributions during successful periods of the year.

Allan Peck, MD. Gastroenterology specialist in Montgomery, Ohio: Insurance companies and government insurance plans will need to prioritize the cost savings at ASCs, which will make these practices the preferred centers to work at. 

Katie Carlson, RN. Administrator of Rush SurgiCenter (Chicago): I don't think it is hospitals we are competing with but other ASCs. The physicians will always have patients that need to be done in a hospital setting. The best way to compete is with efficiency. Surgeons also enjoy ownership and being part of the decision-making process in an ASC. 

Bob Trinh. CEO of The Villages (Fla.) Health: ASCs have better efficiencies, which will increase physicians' productivity (a more predictable schedule). Also, physician ownership in the ASC means a direct financial benefit to the physician. The better patient experience at an ASC means happier patients, higher engagement scores and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. 

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