Surgical care is increasingly shifting to the outpatient setting, fueled by numerous factors that include clinical and technological advances, cost savings, and convenience. For years, surgical specialty groups have developed Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). More recently, ASC management companies, private equity firms, and other capital partners have entered the ASC market, adding to the potential development and investment opportunities for physicians and creating the risk of health systems being left out of this important and growing market.
These factors create both a challenge for hospital leaders and a potential partnership/alignment opportunity. Many of ECG’s health system clients are choosing to embrace this trend, with the attendant volume and financial challenges, rather than take the chance of becoming irrelevant as care continues to migrate away from inpatient settings (the Wall Street Journal wrote about this recently). In doing so, these clients typically have three primary goals:
- Develop long-term alignment opportunities with physicians
- Have a voice in determining the shift of surgery cases to the outpatient setting
- Support the evolution of their fundamental purpose from an acute-care focus to a broader presence serving more of the healthcare needs of their communities