Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Primer for Doctors

ASCby: Jeff Cohen

The development of ambulatory surgery centers is still going strong.  Physicians who want to form or invest in them should be wary, though.

Physicians, squeezed by shrinking reimbursement and rising costs, sometimes see ASCs as a sure thing, financially speaking.  They aren’t.  Developing and operating them is something of an art; and care must be taken in getting into the ASC business.  Developing and operating a successful ASC depends on key factors, like ensuring:

  • The future owners are busy surgeons who will bring cases to the ASC;
  • The surgeons perform services which are well compensated; and
  • Profit distributions will be enough to stimulate interest in the center (especially an issue when a physician owned ASC sells too much to a venture or hospital partner).

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