5 states primed for an orthopedic ASC boom

There is a huge opportunity for orthopedic ASCs in five states over the next few years.

West Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina are among the states with the fewest orthopedic ASCs per capita, beat out only by Vermont, where regulations make it extremely difficult to develop surgery centers.

These states have the fewest orthopedic ASCs, but are primed for growth for the following reasons:

1. Previously hospital-based orthopedic surgeons took cases to surgery centers during the pandemic when hospitals halted nonurgent surgeries. Now those surgeons are comfortable with outpatient surgeries, even outpatient total joint replacements, and want to keep taking patients to ASCs.

2. State certificate of need regulations in North Carolina and West Virginia, and payer policies in New York have become more favorable to ASCs in the last year. It is becoming easier in all three places for independent physicians to open surgery centers and increase case volume.

3. The number of people with arthritis and in need of a joint replacement will increase in the next decade. There are already around 1 million hip and knee replacements performed in the U.S. annually, and by 2030 the number of total knee replacements is expected to hit 3.5 million per year, according to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.

4. Two of these states — New York and Massachusetts — are among the 15 highest-paying states for orthopedic surgeons. In New York, orthopedic surgeons earn an average annual salary of $475,933, and they earn an average annual salary of $463,856 in Massachusetts, according to the World Scholarship Forum.

5. Economic growth is also an important factor for potential growth. North Carolina, Massachusetts and Maine were among the top 20 states for economic growth, according to U.S. News and World Report.

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