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Surgery Centers Are the Future — But Why?

Thu, Apr 13, 2023

Surgery Centers Are the Future — But Why?

Industry surveys make it clear that surgery centers are the future for both patients and surgeons. These studies estimate that the market will grow to as much as $55 billion by 2025. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are already responsible for more than half of outpatient surgeries in the U.S.

ASCs continue to grow and dominate general hospitals primarily because of the technological advances, lower costs, and excellent patient outcomes they offer.

What Is a Specialty or Ambulatory Surgery Center?

These medical facilities go by several names, including specialty, ambulatory, and outpatient surgery centers. A general hospital offers a wide range of services to cover any patient that might walk through the door.

What makes a specialty facility different is that it offers narrower services. For example, orthopedic centers provide treatments and surgeries for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, like joint replacements and fracture repairs.

Why Patients Opt for Premier Surgery Centers

A doctor stands by a patient’s bedside and shows him a tablet screen. The trend in patients choosing specialty centers over hospitals for care is ongoing. Healthcare consumers are smarter and more informed than ever before, and they turn to ASCs and specialty facilities for several reasons:

  • Efficient, Lower Cost Care. Patients know how much healthcare costs and they want to save where they can. A general hospital must cater to a wide audience. Their budget has to cover everything. A specialty surgery center can provide more efficient services because their spending needs are more limited. This leads to a lower cost of care delivery to patients, according to research.
  • Innovative Technologies. Because they are able to deliver more cost-effective care, surgery centers can invest in the best technologies that benefit patients. For instance, North Carolina Specialty Hospitals have Makoplasty robotic surgical systems. These allow surgeons to provide more precise and less invasive joint replacements that help patients heal and recover faster.
  • Improved Safety and Outcomes. Surgery is a big deal, even if they’re “just” outpatient procedures. Patients want the safest option and they want the best outcome. They want to heal as fast as possible and recover with greater mobility and less pain. Because specialty centers pool experts in one location, the services they provide patients are informed by experience and skill. ASCs can provide better, safer, and higher-quality care, in general, than what patients receive at large, multipurpose hospitals.
  • Greater Control. Patients today want more control over their medical care. They know more than patients in the past, and they want a say in their treatments. In general hospitals, surgeons and physicians answer to administrators and boards. Physician-owned hospitals allow surgeons to make more choices and to involve patients more fully in care decisions.

Why Do Surgeons Choose Specialty Centers?

Savvy consumers follow their physicians. Surgeons continue to choose specialty and ambulatory surgery centers over hospitals for many good reasons. They know that the future is in outpatient surgery. In 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a final rule that ensured the trend will continue. The rule eliminates a list of nearly 2,000 procedures that Medicare currently only pays for when done in an inpatient setting.

But it isn’t just that patients want more ambulatory surgery options. Surgeons are part of the trend because they want more control over how they care for patients. At specialty centers, which are often physician-owned, they have more options. They can perform more procedures within their own areas of specialization and have greater access to surgical technology. Ultimately, what this all comes down to is better patient outcomes, which is what surgeons want.

North Carolina Specialty Hospital leads the region in providing specialty care, including surgeries. Contact North Carolina Specialty Hospital to learn more about our specialists and to schedule a consultation.

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