Ambulatory surgical centers draw more attention

As the number of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) in the U.S. grows, they're drawing steadily more attention, with critics questioning whether enough of them are prepared to handle emergencies.  While these centers perform a wide range of surgeries, including cosmetic, gynecological, urological and dental procedures, as well as some cardiac and orthopedic surgeries, they often lack an emergency room and may not do as well as hospitals when complications arise, researchers say.

ASCs are already a huge business--31 percent of the 50 million surgeries performed annually in the U.S. are performed there--and observers say the growth will continue. According to The Joint Commission, the number of outpatient surgical clinics climbed 25 percent from 2001 to 2006. And their prices can be significantly lower than hospital-based surgeries. However, it's possible they'll face regulation in the future if increased rates complications or deaths occur there.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this USA Today piece

Related Articles:
Ambulatory surgery centers fear Medicare cuts. Report
Spotlight: Payment changes could impact ASCs. Report
Profits way up for PA surgical centers. Report
Denver MDs, hospitals partner on outpatient centers. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.