Facts to know about ASC total joint replacements in 2020

With 2020 upon us, here are four things ASC leaders should know about outpatient total joint replacements:

1. CMS will pay for total knee replacements in ASCs. CMS finalized its ASC payment system final rule Nov. 1, adding total knee replacements to the list of procedures it will pay for in surgery centers. CMS also removed total hip arthroplasty from the inpatient only list, which means it will pay for them in the hospital outpatient setting.

2. Orthopedics is becoming a lucrative specialty for ASCs. A recent report by Sg2 projected that orthopedic volumes are expected to rise in the coming decade. Key factors contributing to the projected rise in volume include increasing payment options for total joint replacements in ASCs, increased bundled payment and value-based care efforts and an increasing focus on the quality of care provided in ASCs. 

3. ASC boom not slowing down. Becker's ASC Review reported on over 30 orthopedic ASCs that opened last year. Additionally, over 10 ASCs added total joint programs last year. In an interview with Becker's, Louis Levitt, MD, vice president and secretary of the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics in Bethesda, Md., said ASC growth could be spurred by high patient satisfaction rates and better outcomes found than in the hospital outpatient setting. 

4. Consolidation will continue. A report by the Advisory Board projected that the ASC market is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2020. Dr. Louis Levitt said it's likely that a number of corporate entities will buy up smaller ASCs in the coming years, and ASCs may operate similarly to acute care hospitals with centers that specialize in joint replacement and other specialties.

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