Ultimately, the implementation of value-based
care initiatives will drive the creation of a fairer and more equitable playing
field in healthcare, but progress is never linear. In healthcare, you can gain
leverage and lose it; you can take big leaps forward only to have a global
pandemic push it right back. Change is slow, but there is movement. Ambulatory
surgery centers (ASCs), as just one example, with their ability to provide
cost-effective care and statistically safer clinical outcomes than in-patient
facilities, are a key to moving affordable healthcare forward.
There are approximately 5,300 ASCs in the
U.S., and more than 90% are owned or partially owned by physicians. Their
streamlined, outpatient models provide a much-needed alternative for many
elective or non-emergency procedures - a fact that has only grown in need as
hospitals are stretched to their limits.
According to a study by the Ambulatory Surgery
Center Association, ASCs were able to generate $28.7 billion in savings to
Medicare during an eight-year period from 2011 to 2018 and will generate more
than $70 billion dollars in savings by 2028. Researchers
anticipate that advances in orthopaedic, cardiology and spine procedures will
lead to a larger number of outpatient procedures in the near future.
Research has also proven ASCs are associated with lower infection rates than hospitals and
more efficient for physicians and patients alike. And with a personal stake in
reimbursement, physicians are motivated to further scrutinize operational costs
and protocols, improving the efficiency and economics of surgical cases. If you are looking for why we are seeing a tremendous growth in ASCs, check out this article.
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