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Ambulatory Surgery Centers 'Pivotal' in Moving Outpatient Surgical Services Into Less Expensive, Clinically Appropriate Settings
Date:6/16/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) play a pivotal role in moving services into less expensive yet clinically appropriate settings, concludes a study issued today by the independent health economics and policy firm KNG Health Consulting. Other key findings from the study, which examined the growth in the number of ASCs between 2000 and 2007, include:

  • ASCs are essential Medicare providers of surgical and cancer screening services.
  • 70% of the growth in Medicare services provided by ASCs between 2000 and 2007 is the result of moving procedures from hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) into the less expensive ASC setting.
  • For gastrointestinal and ophthalmology services -- two major types of services ASCs provide -- 75% and 94% of the growth, respectively, in ASC services over the study period is from the migration of services into the less expensive ASC setting.
  • Unlike what some critics suggest, ASCs do not result in a higher overall surgical volume.

"For some time, the ASC community has maintained that the key reasons ASCs are in such high demand with physicians and their patients are the high-quality surgical services, topnotch patient care and cost-effective alternative they offer," said ASC Association Chair Alsie Sydness-Fitzgerald, CASC. "This research confirms what we have known for a long time. This study clearly shows that policies that support ASCs should be a part of any health care reform plans the current Congress and Administration adopt."

"With this study, we now have the data we need to conclusively demonstrate that ASCs have long been playing a critical role in meeting America's surgical needs," said Richard E. Francis, Jr., chair of the ASC Coalition, an organization of ASC associations and companies that commissioned the study, and chief
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SOURCE ASC Association
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