Should You Choose an ASC For Your Next Orthopedic Procedure?

There’s no doubt about it; if you need to have surgery, you want the best care possible. Traditionally, that would mean going to the hospital, but thanks to advancements in minimally invasive techniques, patients now have more options than ever before. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have grown in popularity over recent years and with good cause. These small-scale medical facilities provide high quality and specialized care in a comfortable setting that cannot be matched by hospitals. So, is an ASC the right choice for your next orthopedic procedure?

ASCs are great options for patients requiring diagnostic procedures, outpatient surgery and medical procedures that do not require an overnight stay. The benefits of using an ASC over a hospital are numerous. Some of the most notable features include:

  • Convenience – Because ACSs are smaller than hospitals, you will enjoy closer parking and less walking. You will also enjoy ease of scheduling and less waiting time, due to lower patient volume.
  • Value – ASCs are much more cost-effective than hospitals. Because they cost less money to operate, those savings are passed on to you. A study performed by the University of California-Berkeley found that ASCs saved Medicare $7.5 billion from 2008 to 2011; $1.5 billion of those savings were passed directly on to Medicare patients.
  • Specialization – Many ASCs specialize in one particular area, such as orthopedics. They are fully staffed with highly-trained professionals, so you’ll be receiving top-notch care in a safe, comfortable environment.
  • Satisfaction – ASCs report a 92 percent satisfaction rate. They take pride in pleasing their patients and providers alike. Patients enjoy shorter wait times, scheduling flexibility and convenience. Providers appreciate control over staff and quality of care.

ASCs are also supported by the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). As stated in their Ambulatory Surgical Centers Position Statement:

The AAOS believes that many orthopaedic surgical procedures can be safely and efficiently performed in ASCs. We support the use of ASCs, regardless of ownership, as long as all potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed to the patient, payers and other providers. Several ownership models exist, and the AAOS supports physician and non-physician investment in facilities that deliver high quality and cost effective health care. The AAOS believes that ASCs should be equipped to provide care to all patients who are eligible to receive care in the ambulatory setting, regardless of payer status or ability to pay. The AAOS is committed to working closely with all stakeholders to insure the provision of high quality, cost-efficient, patient centered musculoskeletal care.

As a patient, it’s important to remember that you have options when it comes to your healthcare. If you think an ASC might be the right choice for your next orthopedic procedure, talk it over with your doctor. As a team, you can decide which care facility will meet your needs, expectations, and your budget.