What is an ASC?

Ambulatory Surgery Centers—known as ASCs—are modern health care facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.

ASCs have transformed the outpatient experience for millions of Americans by providing them with a more convenient alternative to hospital-based outpatient procedures—and done so with a strong track record of quality care and positive patient outcomes.

Providing a higher quality patient experience is just one of the many benefits associated with the ASC industry.  We also provide cost effective care that saves money for the government, commercial insurance companies, and you- the patient.  According to a recently released study by the University of California Berkeley, ambulatory surgery centers save the government about $2.5 billion a year with the potential to save almost $60 billion over the next decade.  Currently, Medicare pays ASCs about 58% of what they would pay for the same exact treatment in a hospital setting.  Typically, a Medicare patient is responsible for 20% of the Medicare rate and would therefore save money out of his or her pocket when they insist on utilizing an ASC.

Medicare is not the only insurer to receive costs savings.  Because most private insurance plans are based on a percentage of Medicare, a lower Medicare rate in an ASC means much lower rates for patients who bring their commercial insurance to an ASC instead of a hospital.  A lower co-pay and deductible for you means more money staying in your pocket. You, as the patient, have a right to request where you receive treatment.  If your doctor is seeking surgical treatment in the course of your care, remember that ASCs are your safe, low cost alternative to expensive hospital based care.

Furthermore, all ASCs are subject to rigorous oversight and independent inspections to assess each center’s level of compliance with both state and national standards. These on-site surveys, like those conducted at hospitals and other facilities, evaluate ASCs on a wide range of demanding clinical, operational and quality standards.  State-specific licensure is required by most states (including Florida) for ASCs to operate (e.g., ongoing inspection and reporting).

ASCs that treat Medicare beneficiaries must meet federal government standards and demonstrate continual compliance with Medicare’s standards.  Approximately 68 percent of the industry obtains additional accreditation from several leading organizations, including The Joint Commission and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  The Orthopaedic Surgery Center had our most recent inspection in March of 2014 and we received a passing evaluation that earned us AAAHC’s longest accreditation term of three years.

For more information related to ambulatory surgery centers, please visit the national Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) website to learn how ASC’s are good for the national government, local community, and you. http://www.ascassociation.org/AdvancingSurgicalCare/home/