What ASCs with a competitive edge will look like in the coming years: 5 insights

ASCs with the right strategy in place can take advantage of trends in healthcare to accelerate growth in the future.

Christina Goodall, RN, DNP, administrator of Atlanta Orthopedic Institute, outlines five ways surgery centers can take advantage of the evolving healthcare landscape to thrive over the next three years.

1. Focus on customer service. "ASCs that are progressive and forwarding-thinking over the next three years will enhance their customer service, maximize their cost efficiencies, have excellent quality outcomes and excel in direct to employer contracting," said Dr. Goodall.

2. Add services to become a one-stop shop. "An ASC's ability to create an ecosystem of services under one roof inclusive of pre-surgery wellness, physician clinic, surgery center, physician and staff expertise, and physical therapy will have the competitive advantages over the standard hospital outpatient surgery department," said Dr. Goodall. "ASCs have the ability to make it easy and convenient for patients to receive a concierge experience."

3. Compete on pricing. "ASC prices [can be] 35 to 40 percent cheaper than hospitals [on average]," said Dr. Goodall. "Because of the price point savings, payers will want to divert more outpatient services from inpatient hospitals into the ASC ecosystem. Today, ASCs are performing partial and total knee arthroplasty with less pain, faster ambulation and recovery. Furthermore, same day discharge with specific criteria reduces the length of stay, thus reducing cost."

4. Focus on quality reporting and achieve specialty designation. "ASCs that have accreditation status and meet key quality criteria will excel in the future," said Dr. Goodall. "As healthcare becomes more transparent with price and quality outcomes, it will be imperative that ASCs maintain high quality reporting metrics especially with a focus on pre- and postsurgery measures. Many ASCs boast Blue Distinction and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care-designated centers of excellence for joint and spine."

5. Bundle services and negotiate with employers. "ASCs that have an ability to bundle their services for specific procedures, will have the opportunity to negotiate directly with self-insured employers, enabling their employees to get concierge type services at reduced rates. By doing so, employers will reduce their loss time injuries and ensure that their employees receive high quality services in a controlled environment," said Dr. Goodall.

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