In a rapidly evolving landscape, healthcare professionals must always look toward the future. Changes in the industry lead to risk and uncertainty, but they also open up new opportunities. In this environment, ambulatory surgery centers are perfectly placed to advance and flourish.

Leveraging expertise as one of the nation’s leading surgery center management and development companies, Regent Surgical Health has identified six critical trends that forecast growth for ASCs in 2018. Regent details these key ideas in a new comprehensive guide. Here is a brief overview of the trends that are propelling change within outpatient care.

  1. Value-based care is the top priority.

The days of 100% fee-for-service care are numbered. The healthcare industry now has a strong focus on quality over quantity, and ASCs are well positioned to meet this need. By improving strategic, structural, and operational approaches to value-based care, hospital systems are working to enhance ambulatory care platforms.

  1. Total joint replacement is moving to ASCs.

Data shows that outpatient total joint replacement (TJR) patients receive equal or improved outcomes – at lower cost – when these procedures are performed in an ASC instead of a hospital. By 2030, 45% of total hip and knee joint replacements may be outpatient procedures.

  1. Bundled payments are growing fast.

Within the next five years, bundled payments have a projected growth rate of 6% – the fastest of all payment categories. Providers recognize the value of this approach as the industry continues its shift toward value-based reimbursement. ASCs can benefit from this trend by forging partnerships with both payors and self-insured businesses.

  1. HOPDs are converting to ASCs.

There is a movement to migrate certain procedures from hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) to ASCs – often as joint ventures between hospital systems and physicians’ groups. Reasons for this conversion range from physician preference and patient convenience, to lower expenses and better outcomes.

  1. Employed physicians are signing on as ASC partners.

What was once an unusual or unwise practice is becoming more commonplace. Health systems are now offering employed physicians ownership in ASCs as they build strategic ambulatory platforms, as it encourages partnership and retention.

  1. Health systems are adding specialty centers.

As they build more robust ambulatory platforms, health systems are expanding and connecting their outpatient assets – including ASCs, cardiovascular centers, imaging labs, and urgent care facilities. These resources meet the needs of their market, and increase efficiency and profitability.

To learn more about each of these ASC trends, download the full guide from Regent Surgical Health.