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ASCs on the Rise: Why These Outpatient Centers are Reshaping Healthcare

March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

As healthcare continues to evolve at breakneck speed, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for leaders. HealthStream's annual white paper, authored by industry expert Robin Rose, MHA, identifies the top ten trends poised to reshape the landscape in the coming year. This blog series delves into each trend.

ASCs on the Rise: Why These Outpatient Centers are Reshaping Healthcare

Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) are revolutionizing patient care delivery, offering patients a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional hospital settings. These specialized facilities provide same-day surgical care for a wide range of procedures, allowing patients to recover in the comfort of their own homes.

The market is expected to witness substantial growth at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% over the next several years (Joseph, 2023).

The Benefits of ASCs

  • Cost-effective: ASCs have lower overhead costs than traditional hospitals, leading to significant savings for patients and insurance companies.
  • Convenient: Patients undergo their procedure and return home the same day, eliminating the need for an overnight hospital stay.
  • Reduced risk of infection: ASCs have lower patient volumes and stricter infection control protocols, leading to a lower risk of hospital-acquired infections.
  • Increased patient satisfaction: Patients report higher satisfaction with ASCs due to the personalized care, shorter wait times, and comfortable environment.

Driving Market Growth

  • Rising demand for outpatient procedures: More and more minimally invasive surgeries are being performed, making ASCs an ideal setting for these procedures.
  • Growing geriatric population: With an aging population requiring more surgical procedures, ASCs offer a convenient and efficient solution.
  • Advancements in medical technology: New technologies are enabling more complex procedures to be performed safely and effectively in ASCs.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Compared to hospitals, ASCs provide a more cost-effective option for both patients and healthcare providers.

What to Expect in 2024

  • Expanded Medicare reimbursement: CMS has added 11 CPT codes to its ASC-approved list, including codes for including total shoulder replacements, total ankle replacements, and others, opens up opportunities for further growth and increased access to care (Taylor, 2023).
  • Facility fee increase: ASCs will see a 3.1% increase in facility fees in 2024, providing them with additional financial resources to invest in quality care and technology.
  • Focus on innovation: The ASC market is expected to witness continued investment in cutting-edge technologies and surgical techniques, further enhancing patient care and outcomes.
  • Physician pay decrease: Physician pay for procedures performed in ASCs will decrease by 1.25% in 2024. This may lead to some challenges for ASCs in attracting and retaining qualified physicians.

The ASC market is undoubtedly on an upward trajectory. With their numerous benefits, including convenience, cost-effectiveness, and patient satisfaction, ASCs are poised to play an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery. As technology continues to evolve and regulations adapt, the future of ASCs is bright and promising.

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Joseph, M. Ambulatory Surgery Center Market Size, CAGR, Trends 2024–2030. Medium.com, December 1, 2023. https://medium.com/@jerez43343/ambulatory-surgery-center-market-size-cagr-trends-2024-2030-563b4adc2b17

Taylor, A. “MS Hands ASCs Big Victories for 2024.” Outpatient Surgery, November 8, 2023. https://www.aorn.org/outpatient-surgery/article/cms-hands-acss-big-victories-for-2024