Private equity won't lose its grip on ASC market

Private equity has weaved its way into ASCs, and healthcare experts don't expect it to go anywhere.

Three healthcare leaders connected with Becker's to answer, "What does 2023 have in store for the ASC industry?"

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Trishul Kapoor, MD. House Officer and CSTAR Fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor): The current U.S. ASC market is valued at greater than $36B and is expected to surpass $144B by 2032. This is certainly not a surprising prediction considering the growing surgical needs of patients age 65 or older in the U.S. This subset of the U.S. patient population has grown by 18 million over the last decade.

I believe, pending short delays through the current recession, there will be a stronger growth in physician-owned ASCs. In particular, the following specialities will see a strong growth: ophthalmology, endoscopy, cardiovascular, orthopedic and neurology. There will be an increasing presence of private equity involvement in this space as well. 

Neal Kaushal, MD. Chief of Gastroenterology and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Adventist Health (Roseville, Calif.): 2023 is going to be an interesting year for ASCs. On one hand, the financial climate of high interest rates can potentially limit the borrowing power of firms which can present capital challenges. On the other hand, private equity has gained such a strong foothold in this area that I do not see this slowing down any time soon, despite short-term economic changes in the markets.

Steven Schwaitzberg, MD. Chair of the Department of Surgery at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (Buffalo, N.Y.): ASC growth will continue. While single specialty ASC such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, and GI will flourish with or without private equity investment, multispecialty ASCs will also grow, essentially becoming microhospitals and will accommodate newer trends such as ambulatory bariatric surgery.

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