Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) are facilities where surgeries that do not require hospital admission are performed. They provide a cost-effective and convenient environment that is less stressful than what many hospitals offer. ASCs may perform surgeries in a variety of specialties or dedicate their services to one specialty, such as eye care. Each year, nearly six million surgeries are performed in more than 3,300 ASCs across the United States . Procedures performed in these centers include ophthalmology, gastroenterology, orthopedic, ENT (ear, nose & throat), gynecology, and plastic surgery.
Patient satisfaction is a hallmark of the ASC industry. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General surveyed Medicare beneficiaries who had one of four procedures in an ASC. He found that 98% of the people were satisfied with their experience.
One reason for high patient satisfaction is convenient scheduling. According to the ASC Association’s Outcomes Monitoring Project, 75% of ASCs started more than 80% of their cases on time. Another reason patients like ASCs is value. A 1977 study conducted by Blue Cross/Blue Shield revealed that, on average, procedures performed in ASCs cost 47% less than the same procedures at hospitals. Furthermore, every study ever done has shown that the quality of care delivered at ASCs is equal to or better than comparable hospital care.
The majority of surgery performed in ambulatory surgery centers includes
Beneficiaries prefer outpatient surgery to in-hospital stays.
98 percent of beneficiaries said they were satisfied with ASCs, compared to 94 percent being satisfied with hospitals.
Post-operative care was not a problem for most beneficiaries.
Reasons cited for a preference of ASCs over hospital outpatient departments included less paperwork, lower cost, a more convenient location and parking. Also cited was no waiting at the ASC, more organized and friendlier staff compared to crowded and uncomfortable hospital settings.