Louis Levitt, MD, is vice president and secretary of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. He shared his thoughts on why orthopedics is leading the shift of outpatient procedures to the ASC setting, and how more partnerships could affect ASCs.
Question: Can you talk a little about how/why you've transitioned procedures to the outpatient setting?
Dr. Louis Levitt: I have found that doing procedures in the outpatient setting increases efficiencies and improves the patient experience. Since patients are discharged that same day as opposed to having to stay overnight, more procedures can be performed within a shorter time frame. And, with a shorter stay, patients are not exposed to the hospital environment and other sick patients, ultimately improving outcomes. As a physician, I also have much more control over the operations and can set expectations for myself and for my patients. I find that the patients like the experience better, too.
Q: How have your patients benefited from shifting cases to the outpatient setting?
LL: Patients enjoy a variety of benefits when they undergo surgery in the outpatient setting. They can rest assured that their surgery is going to be on time and that they will typically be able to go home that same day. The outpatient setting is also a pleasant, family-friendly environment. Some surgery centers even allow family members to see the patient shortly after they leave the recovery room, and the patient wakes up from anesthesia surrounded by loved ones. Patients and their families like that both parties can be actively engaged in the surgical and recovery process.
Q: How do you think orthopedics is leading the pack when it comes to taking cases outpatient?
LL: I believe that orthopedics is leading the trend towards outpatient procedures. Orthopedic surgeons routinely perform complex surgeries in an outpatient setting, including joint replacements, ACL reconstructions and spinal fusions, to name a few. As a specialty, orthopedics is a leader in demonstrating how to take full advantage of the outpatient setting to maximize efficiency and improve the patient experience and outcomes.
Q: With more physicians/private practices entering joint ventures with hospitals, what do you think the impact on ASCs will be?
LL: I have noticed that private practices have shifted from being hospital-centric to developing joint ventures with hospitals. By partnering with a hospital, private practices receive financial support and access to their larger referral network. I predict that ASCs will continue to grow as their own entities, without hospital control, and will one day control the subspecialty market.