Why the 'viability of freestanding centers' is concerning this administrator

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Some independent ASCs took a hit during the pandemic without the leverage to secure reimbursements and necessary supplies.

Karen Wood, the administrator of Advanced Pain Management Center and Cedar Hills Surgery Center in Portland, Ore., spoke with Becker's ASC Review on how her freestanding ASC struggled in the past year. 

Question: What are your bold predictions for the ASC industry in the next five years?  

Karen Wood: At heart, I am an optimistic person. That said, with the challenges we continue to face related to reimbursement, panel status and supply shortages, I am concerned about the viability of freestanding centers such as ours. In addition, the increased burden of regulatory administrative paperwork has an increased layer of expense in terms of time and staffing. We had a very difficult 2020. We had to shut down operations for what I consider to be an extended period of time. We were lucky though in that our staff stuck with us until we were able to reopen. We are a small pain management facility with a dedicated staff. We very much felt challenges for our facility, staff and patients.

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