Surgery centers are in line to capture a sizable number of cases as insurers and providers look to shift more complex procedures out of hospital ORs. As the migration of surgeries to same-day settings continues to increase, ASCs that focus on strategies designed to limit expenses and maximize throughput will be well positioned — and well prepared — to generate new business.
Brian Bizub, CEO at Raleigh (N.C.) Orthopaedic Clinic, runs two surgery centers. One, which is eight years old, is where 22 surgeons perform about 7,000 orthopedic and pain management cases each year. The second facility is a multispecialty center that opened less than a year ago. Surgeons there currently perform about 110 procedures per month. Mr. Bizub expects the total case volume to reach 2,000 by the end of the year as more surgeons come on board.
He’s seen incredible growth in orthopedics at his primary facility: total joint cases have increased by 40% and spine procedures have jumped by about 20% over the past 12 months. “We’re moving patients from the local hospital to our surgery centers as we’re able to perform more complex cases, including total hips and total knees, and one- and two-level spine fusions,” says Mr. Bizub. Medicare patients make up about 25% of the case mix, Blue Cross and Blue Shield about 45% and other commercial payers comprise the rest.
He knows that ASCs wanting to remain at the forefront of outpatient care in a landscape that prioritizes quality outcomes and access to safe, affordable surgery must implement smart and efficient supply purchasing and practices.
• Cost containment. Mr. Bizub points to the importance of working with surgeons to select cost-effective implants for orthopedic cases. His main surgery center is 51% owned by the local hospital, which is a passive partner. Surgeons from a single orthopedic group operate at the facility, so it’s not difficult to standardize implant purchases.