14 ASCs taking on price transparency

Healthcare is moving toward greater transparency in pricing, and these 14 ambulatory surgery centers have embraced the push.

If you would like to recommend another surgery center for this list, contact Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com.

Banner Desert Surgery Center (Mesa, Ariz.). The surgery center's website lists the direct pay prices and the discounted uninsured self-pay prices for the most common procedures provided by the center, including ophthalmology and ENT procedures. The direct pay price is based upon the current charge master pricing for the procedure and it does not include fees charged by physicians working at the center.

The surgery center is a part of Phoenix-based Banner Health. It is licensed and accredited, like all Banner Surgery Centers.
 
Banner Estrella Surgery Center (Phoenix). The surgery center makes a list of direct pay prices and discounted uninsured self-pay prices available to patients online. It includes prices for the center's most commonly performed procedures in numerous specialties, such as colonoscopy, upper GI/endoscopy and ophthalmology. The direct pay prices do not include any implants that may be required with the procedure.

The surgery center is a part of Phoenix-based Banner Health's network of surgery centers. It is licensed and accredited.

Canyon Springs Surgery Center (Gilbert, Ariz.). On its website, the ASC lists prices for the most commonly performed procedures at the center, including surgical correction of hammertoe, arthroscopic shoulder surgery with repair of rotator cuff and surgical corneal transplant. The ASC lists both direct pay prices and discounted uninsured self-pay prices. The direct pay price is based upon the current charge master pricing for the procedure.

The licensed and accredited surgery center is a part of Phoenix-based Banner Health.

Daytime Outpatient Surgery Center (Fort Worth, Texas). The surgery center has published the pricing for numerous procedures it offers, including knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy, pain management procedures, open reduction internal fixation and orthopedic procedures of the knees, shoulders, feet and hands. Patients can also contact the center to inquire about pricing it has listed online. The prices include the facility fee, the surgeon's fee and the anesthesiologist's fee.

The surgery center, opened in 1999, is physician-owned and operated. Outpatient surgical services at the center are offered by the five physicians practicing with Southwest Orthopedic Associates.

Four Corners Ambulatory Surgery Center (Farmington, N.M.). The surgery center uses its website to direct patients to Fair Health, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring transparency to healthcare costs. Fair Health uses its database of billed medical and dental services to enable consumers to estimate their medical and dental expenditures on their website.

"I had been impressed with Surgery Center of Oklahoma's pricing transparency but needed an 'unbundled" approach for us," said Stu McFadden, MHA, executive director of the center. "It was while attending a billing workshop at Becker's national conference, which had a great panel of speakers from National Medical Billing, where I discovered FAIR Health during a Q&A question I asked. When you have both payers and patients aligned and armed with accurate, unbiased and transparent data everyone wins! Going forward patients will be expecting ASCs, as the low-cost provider of quality surgical care, to embrace price transparency and will beat-a-path to those that do."

The surgery center, opened in 1998, comprehensive surgical care services in a wide array of specialties, including ENT, general surgery, gynecology, orthopedics, ophthalmology and pain management. The center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

MEDARVA at Stony Point Surgery Center (Richmond, Va.). Last year, the surgery center posted on its website the out-of-pocket facility fees for 25 to 30 of its most common surgical procedures across numerous specialties, including orthopedics, urology, ENT, general surgery and pediatric services. The prices listed do not include the anesthesiologist and surgeon fees. Patients can also call the center to find out if a cash price is offered for the procedures not listed online.

"We define value as high quality care, service and outcomes at the most reasonable cost available. All ASCs should be facilitating this discussion by supporting efforts to have transparency in their pricing while educating patients/employers on the value of an ASC," says Bruce Kupper, CEO of MEDARVA Healthcare and Stony Point Surgery Center.

The facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and is licensed by the Virginia Department of Public Health. It has an open floor plan and includes preoperative and post-recovery areas, where parents are welcome if their child is a patient.

Monticello Community Surgery Center (Charlottesville, Va.). The surgery center publishes on its website the all-inclusive prices for several procedures its offers, including carpel tunnel release, arthroplasty, stone removal, lipomas, glaucoma shunt, bunionectomy and ventral hernia.

The center was originally founded in 2003, however it recently moved to a new facility in Charlottesville. The facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and includes four operating rooms and one procedure room. The 17,000-square-foot center includes 51 physicians.

Northwest ENT Surgery Center (Woodstock, Ga.). The surgery center has posted online the all-inclusive cash price options for various procedures within the spectrum of ENT surgery, such as rhinoplasty, nasal valve reconstruction, myringoplasty, tympanoplasty and adenoidectomy.

The surgery center is independently owned and operated by physicians from Northwest ENT and Allergy Center. Accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by state of Georgia, the center includes seven physicians and one registered nurse.

Ocean Surgery Center (Torrance, Calif.). The surgery center lists prices for the procedures it offers in a number of specialties, including breast reconstruction surgery, ENT, general surgery, gynecology, podiatry, skin cancer removal and urology. The prices include the surgeon fee, anesthesiologist fee and facility fee.

The multispecialty ASC was established in 2006. It is credentialed by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. The facility is also approved for overnight stay.

Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County (Newport Beach, Calif.). The surgery center has posted its global cash/self-pay rates for numerous procedures on its website, including fracture repairs, arthroscopy trigger finger release, hammertoe correction, radiofrequency ablation as well as lumbar and cervical spine surgery. The center introduced transparent global (all-inclusive) pricing for cash paying patients in 2008.

"We believe transparency is important for the consumer to make informed decisions, not only about the quality of care but about the costs for care. This is long overdue in healthcare and if we are offering value, there is nothing to be shy about. Price should not be the only driver in making healthcare decisions, quality and outcomes is more important as it is well known that poor quality results in higher costs in the long run, therefore transparency in quality is just as important," says Gabrielle White, RN, CASC, executive director, ambulatory services and network development at Hoag Orthopedic Institute.

The Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County, a subsidiary of Hoag Orthopedic Institute, was established in 1999. It is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and provides surgical services for sports injuries, shoulder injuries, fractures, hand conditions and spine care. The 14,000-square-foot facility features four operating rooms.

Regency Healthcare (New York). Regency Healthcare's surgical facility has published a full list of procedure prices on its website. Some of the procedures listed include arthroscopic knee meniscectomy, third degree acromioclavicular dislocation repair, Achilles tendon repair, endoscopic ulnar nerve decompression and lumbar epidural injection. The prices listed are all-inclusive.

The surgical facility is owned and operated by Robert Haar, MD. Dr. Haar earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He focuses on arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle as well as partial knee replacement and ACL, MCL and PCL reconstruction.

St. George (Utah) Surgical Center. The ASC offers patients the option of seeing prices of services. The center currently offers the pricing for more than 70 procedures. But, center officials said that around 30 more will be added in the coming months, according to a Becker's ASC Review article. The quotes include one preoperative and one postoperative visit as well as surgeon, facility and anesthesiologist fees.

The 11,000-square-foot surgery center has served the southern Utah region for more than 26 years. It offers surgical services in a number of specialties, such as gynecology, orthopedics, colonoscopy/endoscopy and urology. It is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and certified by CMS.

Surgery Center of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City). The surgery center is an industry pioneer in medical price transparency — more than 100 procedures offered at the center are posted online with their prices, including Achilles repair, distal clavicle excision, mastoidectomy, cataract surgery and hysteroscopy.

"I would rather come up with my own prices and determine the value of my own time, than have a faceless bureaucrat do it for me. In that model, those people ultimately decide whether or not you are independent. We have been very successful pursuing this model and I have no reason to think that any other surgery center would have a different experience," said Keith Smith, MD, co-founder and chief medical director of the surgery center in a Becker's ASC Review article.

The 32,535-square-foot multispecialty facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. It is owned and operated by approximately 40 surgeons and anesthesiologists.

Surgicenter (Phoenix). The ASC offers lists both direct pay prices and discounted uninsured self-pay prices online for the most common procedures performed at the center. The procedures included colonoscopies, orthopedic services and urology. However, the direct pay prices listed do not include fees charged by physicians at the center, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists and pathologists.

The ASC was the first freestanding, multispecialty surgery center in the country. It was opened in 1970 and has served more than 240,000 patients. It includes seven operating rooms, three endoscopy rooms, three overnight stay beds and 23 pre-and postoperative beds and chairs as well as a pain center.

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