Ask Caryl: Predicting the Future of the ASC Industry

Q: What do you see as the future of the ambulatory surgery center industry based on reimbursement challenges and current regulatory requirements?

Caryl Serbin: The future for the ASC industry remains positive. As ASCs continue to be a less expensive, more cost-effective option for outpatient surgery, more and more hospitals are converting their outpatient departments (HOPDs) to freestanding ASCs as well as partnering with physicians in joint-venture (JV) ASCs.

Even though current reimbursement and regulatory restrictions are challenging, centers — both hospital JVs and independently owned ASCs — must pay close attention to clinical and financial revenue management, focusing on areas that include:

  • Increased efficiency

  • Cost cutting

  • Improved managed care contract negotiations

  • Optimized coding while remaining compliant

  • Increased collections/decreased days in accounts receivable (A/R)

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