Six orthopedic surgeons on state of the ASC industry:
1. Veronica Diaz, MD. Medical Director of Orthopedics Modernizing Medicine (Boca Raton, Fla.):
"I am excited to see ASCs join the digital age. It is unfortunate that in 2020, the majority of communication in the healthcare industry is still paper and fax-based. ASCs will benefit immensely from interoperable, streamlined technology that is simply not possible via paper and fax communication. Furthermore, paper records pose a challenge to ensuring that documentation meets reimbursement and regulatory requirements.
"An investment in adequate technology will also help ASCs address the challenges of maintaining inventory and streamlining patient paperwork. ASCs should be looking to adopt inventory management systems that are easily customizable to individual workflows and can adapt to unique schedules."
2. W. Randall Schultz, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon at Texas Orthopedics (Austin):
"I think it will be increasingly recognized as a viable competitor to the hospital experience. Often physicians have a greater role in ownership and administration of these facilities, and this often leads to quality improvements and better patient experience. It is important that ASCs maintain the same regulatory standards and not put profits in front of safety."
3. Brian P. McKeon, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon at New England Baptist Hospital (Boston):
"The overarching trend is for hospital outpatient departments to become joint ventures with physicians where surgeons run the ASC. This is all being driven by insurance companies. Hospitals will soon realize that the most cost-effective, efficient patient orthopedic care occurs in freestanding ASCs and is the better pathway for hospital networks in regard to outpatient surgery."
4. Michael Chmell, MD. Medical Director of OrthoIllinois Surgery Center (Rockford):
"The ASC industry has gained and will continue to gain greater respect within the general medical community, the public and the media. The benefits of ASCs regarding outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost are being recognized more today than a decade ago, and I believe this will continue."
5. Marcus A. Rothermich, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center (Birmingham, Ala.):
"I think we will see a continuation of recent trends from the past decade or so. Private physician ownership and an increase in the capability of these centers will continue to provide many convenient benefits to patients undergoing outpatient surgery."
6. David J. Jacofsky, MD. Chairman and CEO of HOPCo & the CORE Institute (Phoenix):
"The ASC industry is a game changer when it comes to the medical marketplace and will continue to be so. But all of that opportunity is predicated on effective delivery of promised quality and value. That is why HOPCo, the CORE Institute, and our other affiliated practices have invested heavily in the development of integrated protocols, proprietary tools and data capabilities proven to provide such outcomes at lower costs. Growing acknowledgment of the advantages offered by high quality ASCs will not only attract more patients, but likely convince regulators to further expand the roles that ASCs can play in our healthcare system while further incentivizing employers and insurers to drive patients to such high value sites of care delivery."
7. Nikhil N. Verma MD. Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (Chicago):
"The ASC is the biggest opportunity to improve on value in joint replacement. This includes both the outcomes side as well as the cost side, which is clearly lower at an ambulatory facility. Facilities need to embrace change and pursue orthopedic speciality certification while working to develop and refine protocols specific to total joint patients to include monitoring and recording outcomes."