Studies in recent years show that Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) continue to grow, with statistics showing many ASCs are seeing a growth in case volume. However, while ASCs are a popular choice, those that under-perform and fail to bring in significant profits face closure. While ASCs provide competition for local hospitals, hospitals are also a threat to the success of ASCs. Both ASCs in financial trouble and those working to avoid financial problems need to find the best strategies to improve ASC profitability. The following cost reduction strategies offer ASCs a quick way to enjoy better profits, improving their overall chance of success.


Strategy #1 Carefully Manage Materials

Carefully managing materials is one of the most important practice management strategies ASCs can use to reduce costs and improve overall profits. Becker’s ASC Reviewnotes that supplies represent one of the largest costs for ASCs. However, it is possible to control these costs if they are monitored carefully. ASCs should implement software programs for inventory management and hire an excellent materials manager to work with the computerized materials management program. Limiting inventory, co-signing on materials when possible and ordering large quantities of certain drugs when available for low prices all offer ASCs excellent ways to reduce unneeded expenditures on materials.


Strategy #2 Regularly Review Case Costing

According to Regent Surgical Health, regularly reviewing case costing offers another strategy ASCs can use to reduce costs and improve ASC profitability. ASCs need to understand what every procedure costs while looking at the amount of time spent in operating rooms. Reviewing cases and looking at the time spent in the operating room can help ASCs find the best ways to lower costs to improve overall revenue. Get ASC surgeons involved in these reviews, encourage them to look at case costs and ask them to find the best opportunities to cut costs.


Strategy #3 Use Benchmarking to Improve Profit and Performance

Your ASC should use benchmarking to improve profits and performance. Comparing your ASC to others can help you improve. Benchmarking can help you find out where you are doing well and where you can make improvements in performance, quality and profit. Financial statistics and payroll should also be benchmarked. Doing so will help you find ways to reduce costs and discover solutions that help you improve your ASC profitability.


Strategy #4 Update Training for Billing and Collections Staff

Unfortunately, many ASCs tend to tighten the budget on the billing and collections department first, but problems in billing, accounts receivable, coding and collections will make it more difficult to reduce costs and increase profits. Be willing to invest money to regularly update training for members of your billing and collections staff, ensuring that these staff members have the training needed to successfully collect on patient bills, reducing the money lost by the ASC.


Strategy #5 Start Recruiting Physicians

Recruiting new physicians may not immediately seem like a way to improve ASC profits. However, bringing in physicians with important specialties like spine and orthopedic specialties can improve ASC growth and increase profits. The problem is that recruiting new physicians is difficult, since the number of hospital-employed physicians continues to grow. Focusing on a strong recruitment process that brings in key physician talent offers your ASC many benefits. Recruiting physicians in key specialties gives your ASC a chance to grow, drawing in new patients and resulting in increased profits.

While ASCs are growing, many find themselves in tenuous positions as they compete with local hospitals for business. ASCs can solidify their financial stability with these cost-reduction and profit-building strategies. Implement these strategies quickly, and you should begin seeing your ASC profitability increase.




abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.

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