August 16, 2022

Survey: Most hospitals, health systems are increasing investment in ASCs

By: Tarsilla Moura
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Editor's Note

In this annual survey published by Avanza Healthcare Strategies and titled “2021–2022 Hospital Leadership ASC Survey,” senior healthcare executives and clinical leaders shared insights into hospital-owned and hospital-physician joint venture ambulatory surgery center (ASC) trends. The responses show that “hospitals and health systems of all sizes are expanding their ASC portfolios,” and more than 60% are planning to grow their investments.

The survey cited various factors as contributing to the increase in ASC investments, including:

  • ongoing shift of surgical procedures into the outpatient setting
  • growing competition over physicians and cases
  • better incentives and long-term payoffs for physician owners
  • value-based care movement.

According to the survey, most hospital systems already own an ASC, with 61% owning two or more, and 32% owning five or more centers. In addition, 82% “of hospitals and health systems surveyed have one or more of their ASCs as joint ventures with physicians.”

Between 2020 and 2021, “the percentage of ASCs with 100% hospital and health system ownership declined while hospital and health system majority ownership in ASCs increased,” the survey noted. Along the same veins, outsourcing management of ASCs dropped from 23% in 2019 to 15% in this survey, and hospitals and health systems with ASCs that allow third-party equity partners dropped from 44% in 2018 to 27% in this survey.

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