The biggest problems ASCs face today

Low reimbursements, rising costs and growing competition are some of the biggest challenges ASCs are up against today.

Note: These responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Amber Lawler, RN. Administrator of Proffer Surgical Center (Amarillo, Texas): I feel like our biggest challenge is the amount ASCs are allowed to be reimbursed by insurance. The cost of performing surgery continues to rise, and our insurance reimbursement rates have not. ASCs are often performing the same surgical procedures as hospitals but are reimbursed by insurance at a much lower rate. 

Brett Maxfield, CRNA. Director of Madison Avenue Surgery Center (Idaho Falls, Idaho): The common struggle that I see with everyone is that there is a significant rise in costs post-pandemic with a decrease in revenue overall.

Everybody is fighting the same battle where staffing costs just really skyrocketed and the cost of supplies and medications also skyrocketed. But at the same time, we had a decrease in return as far as payer mixes falling off where there was a lot lower reimbursement and just within the insurances and different things along those lines as well. We also had a fall off where lots of insurance companies have decreased their reimbursement for the same procedures they were doing previously. So [those are] the two factors that have really contributed to a big struggle for all the ASC I've talked to.

Emily Spooner. CEO of South Florida Same Day Surgery Center (Pompano Beach): One of the biggest challenges ambulatory surgery centers are facing today is the growing competition presented by hospitals and ASC systems. As ASCs gain traction for their cost-effectiveness, patient satisfaction, safety and convenience, the larger systems are acquiring more and more presence in the ASC space. Therefore, independent ASCs must work harder and develop strategy and strength in their market plus continuing growth without the large system resources. 

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