The Ambulatory Surgery Center industry is seeing unprecedented growth in 2020. According to the 2019 Ambulatory Surgery Center Market Report, the ASC market is expected to set an all-time record and surpass $40 billion in revenue in 2020 and is projected to hit $50 billion by 2025.
In 2018, nearly 22 million surgeries were performed in the United States with more than half being of the outpatient variety and experts predict this number to increase by roughly 15 percent by 2028. In recent years, more than half of outpatient procedures have been administered in ASCs. As healthcare costs continue to increase steadily, these statistics are expected to trend upwards in 2020 and beyond.
But why the unmistakable draw to ambulatory surgery centers in 2020? The reasons are many and certainly differ depending on each patient’s circumstances, but there are several key benefits that cement the role ASCs play in the healthcare industry.
The first ASC opened in 1970 and it took 18 years before the country would see its 1,000th. Since then, locations have seemingly popped up all throughout the United States, making it easier than ever for residents (of towns big and small!) to find facilities close to home. As of 2020, there are more than 9,000 ASCs in the country, dwarfing the number of hospitals by roughly 3,000.
Without a doubt, a generally lower out of pocket cost is one of the leading perks of visiting an ASC as opposed to a hospital. Recent figures indicate that procedures administered in an ASC averaged just 58 percent of what they would cost in a hospital setting. According to ASCA, Medicare beneficiaries in particular save more than $2 billion annually by visiting ASCs.
Less Risk of Illness
Here’s one that many ASC patients might not think of right away. When you visit a hospital, you’re likely sharing the public space (waiting rooms, elevators, lobbies, etc.) with many sick patients. Since ASCs specialize in and administer surgical procedures only, you’re at a much lower risk of contracting an illness from a fellow patient. In fact, patients who become ill are commonly advised to cancel and reschedule any surgical procedures and avoid the facility entirely until they’re well again.
Compared to a high traffic hospital, it’s incredibly easy for patients to schedule appointments with ambulatory surgery centers. In addition, patients do not see near the wait times they would at a hospital where scheduling processes are far less streamlined. ASC staff are able to ensure quality care by focusing on a small number of patients and operating a schedule less prone to last minute changes. ASCs are rarely forced to cancel or reschedule procedures for this reason.
Patients who seek treatment at an ambulatory surgery center are provided a personalized experience designed to make the process substantially less stressful on themselves and their families. Not overloaded with patient after patient, physicians are able to develop individual strategies to improve quality care and ensure patient satisfaction.
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