Trends in the ASC landscape – Q&A with Matthew Searles

Matthew Searles, MBA, partner at Merritt Healthcare Advisors, an ASC management and development firm that works with centers nationwide, shares the trends he is seeing in the ASC landscape today and in the future.

Mr. Searles will share his expertise as a speaker at the Becker's 19th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, June 16-18, 2022 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here.

Question: What are the most important trends you're seeing in the ASC field today?

Matthew Searles: 1. Continued consolidation of ASCs into larger, private healthcare service platforms as ASCs seek to lower costs, compete more effectively in payer markets and prepare for migration to at-risk models. 2. Higher acuity case migration continues to provide growth opportunities, counterbalanced somewhat by the loss of lower acuity cases to office settings.

Q: What are the key challenges keeping ASC administrators up at night?

MS: Patient safety, compliance, employee retention and contracting concerns should always be top of mind.

Q: What are the top one or two solutions to the big challenges you're seeing for ASCs today?

MS: Seeking partners who can offer economies of scale and contracting leverage. Continuing to find mechanisms to improve the sustainability of revenue streams (i.e. recruiting, succession planning, addition of higher acuity cases as technology allows.

Q: Where is the best opportunity for ASCs to thrive in the future?

MS: It is unlikely individual ASCs will be successful on a stand-alone basis. Integration into larger healthcare networks will alleviate challenges ASCs are facing.

Q: What do they need to do today to set a solid foundation for success?

MS: Be aware of your options, educate yourself and be prepared for systemic shifts in market conditions.

Q: How will private equity investment change the physician practice and ASC field?

MS: Private equity companies are facilitating consolidation in the highly fragmented physician market. To that end they will change the landscape by endeavoring to create larger, more efficient healthcare service entities. Most of this activity is focused on the practices but often include ASC ancillaries.

To learn more about Merritt Healthcare Advisors, click here.


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