Trend: Hospitals embracing ASC trend

Historically, hospitals have been a more than a little concerned about the rise of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), which stand to skim off some of their more profitable procedures while not being required to see indigent patients. Their concerns (and anti-ASC lobbying) have done little to slow ASC growth, which has continued to mount over the last few years. In recent times, however, hospitals have begun to take an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach, turning from fighting ASC expansion to taking ownership interests.

According to recent statistics, hospitals own a piece of 21 percent of ASCs, with 3 percent being owned entirely by hospitals. Not only do these investments work on their face, they're also an increasingly popular way of bonding with physicians. Some observers expect to see nearly all ASCs be hospital-owned in the future.

The real kicker: Medicare is expected to begin reimbursing for about 750 procedures to be done in ASCs beginning in January 2008. Now that should light a fire under this sector!

To learn more about this trend:
- read this article from The Denver Business Journal

Related Articles:
CMS updating rules for ASC Medicare participation. Report
Doctors sue HealthSouth over surgery centers sale. Report
Profits way up for Penn. ASCs. Report
Georgia physicians battle for looser ASC regs. Report