Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have demonstrated an ability to control costs and save money with improved quality and customer services. ASC’s provide a lower-cost site of care as compared to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). There has been a reduction of more than $38 billion per year in the cost of outpatient surgery. Below are a few reasons why the cost is reduced has been seen in Ambulatory surgery centers:
Same-day surgery options:
Providing same-day surgery options to patients for many common medical treatments like cataract surgeries or colonoscopies is the main reason behind the decreased cost.
More efficient due to a limited scope of procedures:
About 65 percent of Medicare-licensed ambulatory surgery centers are physician-owned and function as small businesses, meaning that they have less to bargain with when it comes to payer contracts. This has caused price variations to drastically differ based on the care site. These care sites can keep their doors open with lower payment rates because they have become more efficient than other sites as they have specialization in one particular area and focus on certain procedures only.
Another factor which made the cost of ASC low is less requirement of space, operating rooms and waiting rooms.
Improved surgical techniques and technology:
As the healthcare industry improving surgical techniques and technology, many procedures that were done traditionally earlier are shifting to ambulatory surgery centers, which are reducing the healthcare cost remarkably. It has been noted that some ambulatory surgery centers are already started performing the total hip and knee replacements at more affordable prices than traditionally, which account for 1.5 percent of total medical spending.
Flexible schedules and part-time Staff:
Facilities can save more money by having part-time staff, as the staff requirement for ASCs is only for pre-scheduled surgeries. Hence hiring part-time staff is sufficient. Additionally, flexible schedules for surgeries or procedures are also possible as per caseload hence they can forward the saved cash towards general staff and other overhead costs.
Many ASCs are using technologies that can capture the patient’s pre-registration and pre-op information before their scheduled appointments; this approach helps to reduce excess staffing needs.
The medical supplies and equipment are the major factor in ASC’s expenses. Nowadays many ASC’s are using Inventory Management related software which enables ASCs to closely monitor supply levels. They help in keeping inventory low so that unused supplies won’t be sitting on stockroom shelves. Automating and uploading inventory into the ASCs can quickly decide the real cost of supplies for each case.
If the inventory is detailed and consisting of every item i.e. correct unit of measure of item, unit, price, etc. The ASC’s can monitor exact numbers of procedures, surgeons, vendor prices and use it to identify and capitalize the saving opportunities.