Why physicians are investing in ASC ownership

While the percentage of independent ASCs is shrinking, the market remains dominated by physician-owned centers as ownership offers huge benefits for investing physicians. 

Here are three key reasons physicians are looking to ASCs:

Financial gain:

ASC ownership is a rewarding investment for many physicians, particularly since operational risk can often be distributed across physician shareholders. 

"I invested in myself for intellectual property and the ASC model," Robert Bray Jr., MD, founder of Newport Beach, Calif.-based DISC Sports & Spine Center, told Becker's. "When I began over 25 years ago, I could not get a bank loan or contract to start. Be cautious with management companies. Although, after learning from missteps in the past, I am extremely happy with our current private equity partner. It’s a large commitment of time and passion, but building your own or part of a larger, well-run network is personally and financially rewarding."

Investing in an ASC also allows physicians to put their money into something that they have knowledge and control over. 

"[My investment advice] is investing in ventures you are familiar with, such as becoming an owner or partner in an ASC, developing a clinical research arm of your practice or expanding services such as lab services can improve your portfolio," Zeeshan Tayeb, MD, owner of Pain Specialists of Cincinnati, told Becker's "Diversification in fields outside of healthcare can also be exciting, such as real estate holdings and development."


Physician ownership allows for control over the clinical environment and the quality of care to patients. And unlike many hospital settings, where administrators often lack knowledge about individualized patients, physician operators have direct knowledge about each case.

"The doctors need, as a whole, to regain some control. I have never been more fulfilled with my ability to practice the way I wanted, old fashioned," Dr. Bray said. "I spend time with patients and try to emphasize quality since I started my vertical ASC structure from the first clinic through delivery of the episode of care. It has improved our relationship with the payers and delivered a more cost-efficient, quality-driven product. In short, the physicians need to regain and be given control.

OhioHealth and Surgery Partners' ASC joint venture, for example, prioritizes physician independence. Under the model, physicians can continue to have a say in day-to-day operations and strategic decisions for long-term growth while benefiting from the scale and management experience of OhioHealth and Surgery Partners.


ASCs serve fewer patients than hospitals and are highly specialized, so they have more fluidity than hospitals to exercise control over scheduling and strategies. 

"ASCs give the surgeon back time and quality," Sandra Berreth, RN, director of the Foothill Surgery Center at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, Calif., told Becker's in 2022. "The processes that are innate in an ASC are efficiency (ASCs appeal to the docs); great staff with caring and resilient attitudes to just getting it done; time management (turn-over, scheduling, staying on time); quality management, in other words. Doing what needs to be done as soon as possible; infection prevention; safety protocols."

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