There is incredible industry growth in Ambulatory Surgery Centers across the country. In 2019, there were 9,280 active ASCs in the United States. In the first five months, 72 more ASCs opened, and the growth trend is poised to continue into the future.
Why ASCs are Increasingly Popular with Surgeons
Part of the growth is due to increasing numbers of facilities moving into more complex procedures such as spine surgeries and total joint replacement procedures. As these operations become more common, more surgeons have moved the operations to Surgery Centers where the risk of infection is lower, and the procedures are less expensive.
Many ASCs are surgeon-owned and operated, which appeals to surgeons and keeps overhead down. Scheduling and convenience are also part of the equation. Surgeons and physicians like working in ASCs, in part because ASCs are less overloaded and usually outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. Scheduling is also easier at ASCs offering specialty procedures because surgeons don't have to contend with emergency procedures and the needs of numerous other surgeons.
Benefits for Surgeons
There are numerous benefits for patients as well. With more Ambulatory Surgery Centers around, patients get to choose from more options. This competition for patients encourages ASCs to offer the best possible care and perks such as online booking, automated billing, and online educational resources. These features encourage patients to become more educated about and more involved in their own care.
Surgeons have more control working in an ASC than in a hospital that is often burdened with red tape, competition for surgery suites, and minimal focus on individualized attention for patients. It’s not surprising that many surgeons prefer the control and specialized care they can offer at an ASC, where they can customize everything from the setup of surgical suites to how and when they perform procedures.
Benefits for Patients
ASCs bring down the cost of expensive procedures for patients as well. Without the bloated overhead of hospitals, ASCs can reduce the cost to their patients, putting elective procedures in reach for more people and reducing the stress of budgeting for needed surgeries.
Patients also benefit from lower risks of infection and more personalized care at ASCs. Smaller facilities with dedicated staff offering a limited menu of surgical procedures promotes expertise and familiarity with each patient, all of which lead to healthier recovery. If patients have questions or concerns, they do not have to talk to hospital administrators who are most often unfamiliar with their case. Reducing the bureaucracy increases patient satisfaction.
The Future of Specialty Procedures in ASCs
Patients continue to seek medical intervention that is customized and reduces time in the hospital or clinic. The rise in the number of ASCs is a testament to the preference many patients have for specialized procedures in settings outside of traditional hospitals. As the number of facilities increases, specialized surgeries will become more accessible and more affordable, resulting in fewer healthcare problems down the road for many patients.
For patients and medical professionals, this upward trend is a total win-win.
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