The rise of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) continues apace, and experts expect growth will continue. Factors driving the trend include health care companies deepening their portfolios, increases in federally approved surgeries and an aging U.S. population.

"As technology, surgical techniques and team management techniques have improved and developed, the range of procedures and surgeries that can be done in an ambulatory surgery setting has grown," says Aaron Murski, managing director at VMG Health. He's worked with the organization 18 years and specializes in health care business and securities valuation, intellectual property and licensing transactions, including ASCs. "The total available market continues to grow and mature and evolve."

What to look for over the next 12 to 24 months

To evaluate market potential over the next two years, experts such as Murski will continue monitoring the number of approved outpatient procedures at ASCs as designated by CMS. Federal regulators expand the list as procedures are deemed safe and effective outside a hospital environment. "You should see … a decent single-digit percentage increase in total available markets simply by having procedures migrate to the outpatient setting," Murski predicts.

Another key factor is that Medicare is a payer of between 40% and 60% of ASC procedures, he says. Medicare payments are likely to rise about 2% annually. Paired with a growing population of Baby Boomers age 65 and older, "you've got those tailwinds driving the industry," Murski points out. The primary constraint health care organizations will face is expansion capacity. For example, if a company built a new surgery center five years ago, does it have room to expand the location as demand climbs? If the answer is yes, and the clinic has qualified staff and physicians for surgical procedures, opportunities should be numerous.

To read more about ASC's growth, checkout this article.

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