The majority of ambulatory surgery center (ASC) administrators and
physicians expect surgical volumes to increase this year, according to
HIDA’s 2018 Provider Survey: Technology Drives ASC Expansion.This
survey of ASC administrators, doctors, and office managers looks at the
factors driving this growth, and the steps ASCs plan to take in
Improved surgical capabilities are the leading factor behind rising
patient volumes, although respondents also identified the aging
population and increased capacity at their facilities as key drivers. To
cope with the influx of patients, ASCs are planning to make a number of
investments. Here is a look at some of these:
ASCs plan physical expansion
More than one-third (36 percent) of ASCs are planning to expand their
physical facilities. Of these, more than half plan to expand or remodel
their current facilities, while 43 percent plan to build new facilities
Despite plans to physically expand, the majority of ASCs have no
plans for mergers and acquisitions. Only 5 percent of independent ASCs
say they are in the market for acquisition, and 64 percent say they are
not affiliated with a health system nor considering this option.
ASCs plan to expand range of surgeries at facilities
Advances in operating room technology, microscopes, and patient recovery
have been key in allowing many procedures to shift from the hospital to
the outpatient setting. The leading types of surgeries ASCs plan to add
in the next two years include plastic and podiatric.
In addition to expanding the range of surgeries they perform, many
ASCs have already expanded the types of services they offer. These
include physical therapy (54 percent), diagnostic imaging (54 percent),
and clinical laboratory testing (41 percent).
ASCs look to reduce costs
Lowering costs is a key priority for ASCs, although many are not willing
to let this aim compromise their ability to meet patient needs. Even
though ASC supply chain decision makers are looking to reduce costs,
they identified demonstrated clinical results as the most important
attribute when making purchasing decisions.
The vast majority (88 percent) of ASCs purchase their
medical-surgical supplies through distribution. When purchasing, these
providers tend to exhibit a high degree of independence, and even those
affiliated with large health systems still have a strong measure of
influence in this area. Another important fact for distributor reps to
know is that medical-surgical supply purchasing makes up a large part of
ASCs’ budgets – second only to labor costs.
ASCs are a rapidly growing segment in the healthcare industry,
performing a growing range of surgeries and drawing patients away from
traditional settings. As the report details, these providers are making
numerous strategic investments as they plan for growth. Distributors are
in a unique position to help address the pains that accompany rapid
growth by providing customized strategies for holding down costs.
For more information, and to see additional research reports in HIDA’s Provider Survey series, visit www.HIDA.org/ProviderSurveys.