Posted on October 13, 2016
Trend: Ambulatory Surgery Centers Reduce Costs for Insured
ASCs reduce the cost of outpatient surgery for commercially insured
patients by $38 billion annually when compared to hospital outpatient
departments, a recent study found. Use of an outpatient surgery center
results in both reduced insurer payouts and lower out-of-pocket spending
by consumers, according to the cost analysis conducted by Healthcare
Bluebook and HealthSmart with technical support from the Ambulatory
Surgery Center Association. Contributors to the study emphasized that
consumers must be conscious of pricing differences among local
in-network facilities. The study supports efforts by ASCs to boost cost
savings by shifting more surgical procedures into ambulatory settings.
ASCs benefit from evidence that outpatient surgeries in nonhospital settings are priced lower and therefore contribute to US government efforts to reduce medical expenses.
US consumer prices for medical care commodities, which may impact
outpatient surgical centers' operational costs for equipment and
supplies, increased 3.2% in June 2016 compared to the same period in
US consumer prices for medical care services, an indicator of profitability for outpatient surgical centers, rose 3.8% in June 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.
Total US revenue for outpatient care centers, which includes outpatient surgical centers, rose 11.0% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year.