Guest Editor: Following Your ASC Vision


Capitalize on a growing industry with limitless possibilities.

Ten years ago, I walked into a meeting with my current business partner, and he listed a handful of goals on a single eight-and-a-half by eleven-inch sheet of paper. A decade later, we’ve achieved all of those original goals.

We’ve recruited and hired an array of fellowship-trained musculoskeletal (MSK) surgeons, we’ve built and launched a state-of-the-art ASC and, most recently, we will be connecting that surgery center to a 36,000-square-foot musculoskeletal office building, forming the first MSK-only campus in the county.

We’ve also endured many failures along the way. Regardless of the scope of those failures, our vision has remained constant.

Perhaps some of you are in the same position I was when I walked into that life-changing meeting. You have a vision, a few tangible goals — and a golden opportunity ahead.

The slow and steady migration of surgical cases from hospitals to ASCs has transformed into all-out surge in recent years.

Obviously, cost is a major factor, as the same exact surgical procedure can cost significantly less in an ASC than it would in a hospital setting. In fact, recent studies suggest outpatient total joints and spine cases can cost up to 40% less than hospital-based procedures.

But there are many other factors driving the skyrocketing demand in the ASC industry, as well.

Patients play a pivotal role. With individuals being asked to shoulder more of the financial responsibility for their medical care, they are increasingly turning to surgery centers for help. Can you blame them?

Payers, too, are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of the efficient surgical care that facility leaders have been broadcasting for years. Through strong data analytics, the cost savings and quality care that ASCs provide are becoming undeniable.

Payers and ASCs now understand each other’s needs and have aligned in their missions. More than ever before, payers are open to transparent discussions about how to drive value.

All of the above factors dovetail perfectly with the technological advances in anesthesia, pain control techniques and innovative equipment, such as robotics, that have allowed ASCs to consistently drive efficiency and create a value proposition.

Creative relationships with industry partners now allow those of us in the ASC space to acquire technology like robotic platforms, tools that previously had only been available to major hospitals.

Add in encouraging statistics about quality (ASC infection rates are lower than they are in hospital settings) and easy, same-day access, and it’s easy to see why the ASC industry is the most exciting space in health care today.

It’s why Outpatient Surgery Magazine dedicated an entire Special Issue to the ASC Transformation: A Business Review — and the shift in care we’re witnessing in real time every day at surgery centers of all types throughout the country.

There are countless opportunities for visionary leaders to capitalize on growth to the surgery center sector if they have the humility to admit they don’t have all the answers — and to respect, inspire and communicate clearly with everyone on their team.

It’s one thing to have a vision of what your center can become, but it’s something else entirely to bring that vision to fruition. Such an undertaking requires the unique perspective, expertise and respect of everyone on the team.

It also requires a dogged determination to succeed, the discipline to learn from the inevitable failures along the way and an unwavering belief in your ambitious vision for the future.

For those of us lucky to work in the ASC industry during this exciting juncture, it’s a future of limitless possibility. OSM


Related Articles

Wired for Success

In her 24 years as a nurse at Penn Medicine, Connie Croce has seen the evolution from open to laparoscopic to robotic surgery....

To Optimize OR Design, Put People First

Through my decades of researching, testing and helping implement healthcare design solutions, I’ve learned an important lesson: A human-centered and evidence-based...