Recent headlines have been keeping Americans informed of the most current healthcare changes and trends. A growing trend has private practice physicians closing their doors to fill physician employment opportunities offered by hospitals.
The aforementioned poses the question of whether ambulatory surgery centers are the next physician-owned-and-operated healthcare facilities to follow the path of private practice physicians, in terms of operating under hospitals.
“Becker’s ASC Review” recently published an article, referencing several current patient care providers owning ASCs, to find out what they foresee happening with their practices in the next five years.
Dr. Kenneth Pettine, a spine surgeon in Colorado, said he does not believe that ambulatory surgery centers operating under hospitals will stick.
“I think this whole thing is a trend that will go by the wayside, and I think there’s going to be a huge resurgence in doing spine surgery in ASCs,” said Dr. Pettine, founder of The Spine Institute and Loveland Surgery Center. “I have no intention of changing my ownership structure. In fact, I just want to own more.”
Urologist Brad Lerner, MD, of Summit Ambulatory Surgical Centers, in Maryland, like Dr. Pettine, predicts little minimal changes in physician ownership of ambulatory surgery centers. However, changes in physician services, resulting from the healthcare overhaul, increase odds, he said.
“Partnering with a hospital or hospital system in a formal manner may provide increased financial security, the ability to become part of a larger purchasing group to improve buying power and potential ability to increase reimbursement rates,” said Dr. Lerner.