The next key investments for ASCs

The current financial environment is challenging for businesses across the board, but ASCs are in a unique position to invest in the right areas for further expansion in the coming years.

Here's how four ASC owners and leaders are thinking about strategic growth.

Annu Navani, MD. Founder and CEO of Comprehensive Spine & Sports Center (Campbell, Calif.): The growth in orthopedics, spine and pain has been steady and will remain so. These are safe specialties, as the need is always there and will continue to thrive for various reasons. First, they offer a vast spectrum of services, many of which can be administered via telehealth. In addition, there is a trend to drift toward minimally invasive surgeries that can be performed in nonhospital-based outpatient facilities like ASCs or in-office procedure suites that are less regulated and less likely to shut down during a surge of the pandemic. This has led to quite a bit of interest in investment in these specialties.

Ronjon Paul, MD. Chair of Spine Surgery at Duly Health and Care (Naperville, Ill.): We believe people are important and investing in them is a priority. As an organization, we've invested in people and specialties (physicians and clinical staff) as well as technologies (i.e., our CEC CT scanner, robotics for urologic and general surgery) to expand access to high-quality, lower-cost care for patients. We plan to invest in novel spine-related technologies as well.

Micahel Redler, MD. Partner and Orthopedic Surgeon at Connecticut Orthopaedics (Fairfield): The investments that we need to make are ones to help streamline our care. We know between electronic medical records and hours spent dealing with the payers, our ideal thing would be to create a streamlined situation so we can be spending more time with direct patient care. So the integration of our ability to know patients' medical history, even if they've come from several different healthcare systems. In Connecticut, a new system called Connie is up and running. It is in its infancy, whereby we can now get medical record information even if it's across several healthcare systems. We want to invest in basic systems that will allow us to decrease the amount of time we're either spending in front of a computer or talking to a payer and more time with patients.

Matt Lightle. Director of Business Development of Surgical Center at Columbia (Mo.) Orthopaedic Group: Given the coming market growth in total joint replacement and pain management procedures, we are looking to expand these service lines through recruitment and furthering our operational efficiencies within our facility.

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