More than 5,800 Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) provide outpatient services to Medicare beneficiaries. On average, Medicare pays ASCs one-half of hospital outpatient department (HOPD) rates for the same procedures, meaning that every time a procedure for a Medicare beneficiary is performed in an ASC instead of an HOPD, the Medicare program saves money. This report seeks to update estimates of those savings to the Medicare program for the period 2011 to 2018 and project those savings for 2019 through 2028.
It’s no secret that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has challenged American health systems in ways that they are not used to being challenged. Many have had to adjust rapidly to best meet the needs of their patient population, while doing what they can to stay afloat financially. Among the most attractive solutions to this problem is the migration of procedures to ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs)
One year ago, many ASCs were closed or at limited case volume to divert resources to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.A year later, the pandemic has had some silver lining in driving more cases outpatient, but there are several challenges ahead. ASC owners and operators will have to navigate their organizations through a new healthcare ecosystem emerging in the next 12 to 24 months.
From Becker’s ASC:
1. Boosting case volume. The COVID-19 pandemic, and other natural disasters last year, depressed ASC volume because centers temporarily shut their doors. While many ASCs have resumed operations, other factors are keeping them from reaching 100 percent capacity. Social distancing measures and lack of supplies force centers to lower their daily case volume. Unemployment in some areas will continue to challenge surgery centers, as patients don’t have access to insurance or necessary funds to undergo elective surgery. ASCs will need to find new ways to boost case volume, through facility expansion, adding services, employer partnerships or accepting alternative payment plans. Read more