Pennsylvania ambulatory surgery centers flourishing despite recession

Last time we checked in on the ambulatory surgery center market, it was doing very nicely overall, but that was before the worst of the economic crisis had hit. You could be forgiven if you thought that perhaps the ASC market had since gotten swamped by the recession--but you'd be wrong.

At least in Pennsylvania, ASCs did very well during some of the worst months of the financial crash, actually growing their total margins from 24.31 percent in fiscal '07 to 26.06 percent in fiscal 2008 (June 2008 to May 2009). That's a 15 percent increase in total margin since fiscal 2001, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC3).

Compare that with an average acute-care hospital margin of 4 percent for fiscal 2008, and you begin to get a sense of how successful these entities really are. (Rest assured that hospital leaders in the state are doing so!) The ASCs enjoy a higher proportion of privately insured patients than hospitals (54 percent vs. 47 percent), and only 3.4 percent are covered by Medicaid, vs. 10.4 percent on average for hospitals.

The number of ASCs in the state climbed by 17 during fiscal 2008, though three also closed, reaching a final total of 261 during that period. This number has quadrupled over the past decade.

Learn more about the PA ASC market:
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer article

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CMS updating rules for ASC Medicare participation
ASC market continues to expand

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