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Could Ambulatory Surgical Centers Help Bend U.S. Healthcare Cost Curve?

Orthopedic Design & Technology—December 2, 2016

Orthopedic Design & Technology reports on new research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) that looks at a new tactic by the Affordable Care Act. The authors looked at direct costs of surgical procedures where patients were able to choose whether their procedures were performed at an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) or university-based hospital (UH). All procedures were performed by the same orthopedic surgeons.

"There was a savings in direct costs of 17 to 43 percent depending on the procedure, when performed at an ambulatory surgery center rather than at a university hospital," said Peter D. Fabricant, MD, MPH, orthopedic surgeon at HSS and lead author of the study. The savings appeared to be the result of more efficient usage of time and resources due to streamlined care processes at ASC.

"If orthopedic practices gained access to an ASC for day surgery, they would be able to deliver the same care at a decreased cost, and improve patient satisfaction by offering the convenience of care location options," added Dr. Fabricant. "From the patient and family perspective, care closer to one's home and family is of higher value. Hospital systems have started to respond by shifting resources into developing satellite centers."

To read the full article, visit ODTMag.com.


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