5 Top Surgery Centers Performing More Than 10,000 Cases Per Year

Here are five great ASCs to know performing more than 10,000 cases a year.

Center for Ambulatory Surgery (West Seneca, N.Y.)

Annual case volume:
GI, orthopedics, ophthalmology, general surgery, urology, ENT, GYN, podiatry, neurosurgery, plastics/reconstructive
Keys to building/maintaining volume:
The Center for Ambulatory Surgery, opened in 2001 as a 50/50 equity partnership between local physicians and The C/N Group (which was the developer and currently manages the center), has succeeded despite an extremely challenging local operating environment that sees high HMO penetration and below-industry average reimbursement levels. The center has established an overall climate for success based on surgery center fundamentals supported by consistent execution.

Physician issues are identified and quickly responded to; as a result, physician participation in the center's governance is enthusiastic. Center management, clinical and administrative staff are aligned toward exceptional delivery of care — prioritizing clinical quality and outcomes; hiring and retaining talented, experienced individuals; working with an excellent anesthesia team that has a strong local reputation; and using efficiency to drive operations (for example, endoscopy and surgical operations have separate locations within the building due to rapidity of GI cases) — which further attracts physicians as well as patients. Finally, sound financial discipline ensures that resources are available to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, such as adding equipment to support new specialties and physicians.

Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Annual case volume: 10,000+ (for the third consecutive year)
Specialties: ENT, GI, GYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, pain,
Keys building/maintaining volume: The physician partners are respected in the community, which has had a positive influence on attracting new physicians to their groups and the ASC, both for growth and to replace retiring partners. The center has built a reputation for clinical excellence thanks to AAAHC accreditation, a seasoned nursing staff and an anesthesia team with emergency and pediatric experience.

Staff are rewarded with regular bonuses and strong benefits. Northpoint's administration works to ensure employees feel the ASC operates safely and that it responds immediately and fairly to both employee and physician concerns. As a result, physicians are engaged in MEC committees and care about the center's quality before profits (which has led to healthy distributions).

Administration also works with the corporate partner, National Surgical Care, to ensure payor contracts pay well and are renegotiated regularly. NSC also adds value with regard to purchasing, clinical and business office expertise, and networking with other centers. Finally, profitability is enhanced by maintaining state-of-the-art capital equipment and keeping the facility updated, clean and safe.

Central Utah Surgical Center (Provo, Utah)
Annual case volume: 12,200+
Specialties: GI, orthopedics, hand surgery, ophthalmology, general surgery, ENT, urology, podiatry, GYN, oral surgery, pediatric dental surgery, pain management, plastic and reconstructive surgery
Keys to building/maintaining volume: Central Utah Surgical Center opened its doors in 1997 and has since set a precedent in the Provo area and within Nueterra Healthcare's network of facilities for excellence in outpatient delivery. Administrator Jill Andrews and her staff believe the facility has such maintained their success due to their strong relationships with their medical staff and physician partners. The staff delivers clinically superior service and patient care, averaging 99.5 percent in patient satisfaction scores. The center provides ample block time for the physicians and is very flexible with the physicians to accommodate their schedules.

The facility has remained profitable despite its sets of challenges. They have fierce competition in their market from five area hospitals and two surgical centers and have faced declining reimbursements in the state of Utah. "It comes down to filling your facility with great staff that makes thing happen," said Ms. Andrews.

Kentucky Surgery Center (Lexington, Ky.)
Annual case volume: 11,400
Specialties: ENT, GI, orthopedics, general surgery, pain, dental, hand, colon/rectal, plastics, pulmonary, neurological, urology
Keys to building/maintaining volume: There are four building blocks to the center's success: quality surgeons who work well together and have thriving practices; quality, conservative and safe anesthesia team experienced with the ASC environment; exceptional on-site managers and staff who have led to higher patient satisfaction scores, good attitudes, quick turnover and execution of the management plan; and a management company, Woodrum/ASD, which provides operational, risk management and financial leadership.

"Surgeons have chosen our center due to the expertise of our staff, positive attitudes and overall atmosphere; we maintain their satisfaction by making the best use of our OR time and making sure we are staffed appropriately to guarantee excellent turn over time and flow," says business manager Joan Zarth. "This leads to efficient use of the surgeons’ time and directly contributes to case volume. We are often told by our surgeons that twice as many cases can be done at our center in the same amount of time it would take at most HOPDs."

Further, Ms. Zarth and administrator Glenda Beasley, RN, have complementary skill sets and knowledge of all aspects of both clinical and business operations on a day-to-day basis. The team approach at the top is key to the center's harmony and success, they say.

Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C.)
Annual case volume: 11,500
Specialties: ENT, GI, orthopedics, general surgery, podiatry, gynecology, ophthalmology
Keys to building/maintaining volume: The center opened in 2002 with a case volume of 5,500 and exceeded 10K for the first time in 2006, when it performed 10,250 cases. Last year, it did 10,850, and it's on track for 11,500 this year. Mike Pankey, RN, the center's administrator says the keys to the seven-OR, two-endoscopy suite ASC's success are threefold: a service-oriented approach toward patients and physicians alike; keeping physician owners happy; and a "great staff" who are rewarded "with quarterly bonuses tied to inventory, cost per case, FTE per case and MD and patient satisfaction."

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