The lingering COVID-19 issue still harming ASCs 

Case numbers have long recovered since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but ASC leaders are still struggling with supply costs as they compete for contracts with the deep pockets of hospitals and health systems. 

"The available and changing dynamics in the workforce and supply chain continues to create challenges and I foresee that to continue into the near future," Todd Currier, administrator of Bend (Ore.) Surgery Center, told Becker's. 

Supply costs, which were already burdening ASCs, are skyrocketing amid delays and inflation. Supply costs make up a median 28 percent of an ASC's revenue, according to Avanza's 2022 "Key ASC Benchmarks and Industry Figures" report, and the average ASC spends about $2.9 million on drugs and other medical supplies.

Successful ASCs will maintain a creative supply chain strategy — accessing different supply channels and thinking ahead about potential shortages. 

"Supply allocations have also been added to the mix of the pandemic pain. We have increased our budget reserve for essential supplies instead of buying when needed," Catherine Llavanes, CEO of Sante Health Partners in Los Angeles, told Becker's. "This will help ensure that there will be minimal disruption if there is a supply shortage. We try to be prepared and stay in tune with the daily changes in emergency management in each state we operate. 

ASC leaders also advise remaining flexible — centers must be nimble to withstand inevitable economic obstacles. 

"Healthcare leaders must be flexible and creative with the shortage of healthcare workers, supply chain and increasing costs all around," Jacqueline McLaughlin, RN, administrator at Northwoods Surgery Center in Woodruff, Wis., told Becker's. "Leaders are going to have to manage increasing costs of staffing and supply chain while working in thinner margins."

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