How Does Your Surgery Center Measure Up: Same Center Performance Trends

Published by Becker’s ASC Review

Part I: Same center volume trends

There was a collective hope by ambulatory surgery center market participants that performance declines experienced during 2008 and 2009 were only temporary and largely driven by extraordinary market dynamics brought on by the economic downturn that plagued the United States and world economies during this period. Growth would return to the ASC market as the economic environment as a whole gradually improved. It has been our observation, however, that performance trends in 2010 and early 2011 have not entirely supported such a theory. Although it’s clear that the downturn accelerated and amplified declining performance trends, there continues to be numerous headwinds the industry is presently facing that are outside of the recent recession and subsequent sluggish recovery. These headwinds include the following:

  • Oversaturation of ASCs in many markets.
  • Increasing employment of specialists by health systems.
  • Declining ability to bill and collect using an out-of-network strategy.
  • Increasing consolidation within the managed care payor industry — large, poor reimbursing payors have an increased market share.
  • Inability to recruit young physicians to replace high volume utilizers that are nearing retirement.

In an effort to further explore recent ASC performance, VMG conducted a study of same center volume and reimbursement trends and will highlight our observations in a two-part piece that focuses specifically on volume and reimbursement trends. This column, part I, will focus exclusively on same center volume trends, broken out by specialty and region. In part II, to be published in the near future, net revenue per case trends will be analyzed.

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