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ASCs Reduce Outpatient Procedure Costs

A new analysis shows that ASCs can reduce outpatient surgery costs by more than $38 billion dollars annually compared to hospital outpatient departments.

The analysis was conducted by Healthcare Bluebook, a national provider of quality and cost data for healthcare services, in partnership with HealthSmart, an independent administrator of health plans for self-funded employers. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) provided technical assistance and expertise to the study. The companies conducted the analysis using a sample of de-identified commercial claims data for 2014.

Key points from the study include:

  • For all payers throughout the U.S., ASC prices were found to be significantly lower than HOPD prices for the same procedures.
  • ASCs reduced a patient’s out-of-pocket costs by more than $5 billion annually through lower deductibles and coinsurance payments.
  • Cataract patients in Charleston, WV with an ACA silver plan showed average savings of $566 in out-of-pocket costs by choosing an ASC.
  • For commercially insured populations, ASCs were only able to perform 48% of the procedures that surgeons say they could safely perform in a surgery center. .
  • If the remaining 52% of potential ASC cases were performed in an ASC setting, the U.S. healthcare cost savings would be $41 billion annually.

ASCA CEO William Prentice commented on the findings, stating, “The physicians and nurses providing care in ambulatory surgery centers, as well as the millions of patients they have treated, have long known that ASCs provide a high-quality, low-cost site for outpatient procedures.”

Prentice continues, “This study is solid evidence that consumers, policymakers, insurers and employers need to take fuller advantage of the exceptional healthcare value offered by ASCs.”

Source(s): Vaidya, Anuja, “ASCs Reduce Outpatient Procedure Costs by $38B per Year Compared To HOPDs: 5 Insights,” Becker’s ASC Review, June 14, 2016