Regent Surgical Health, one of the largest private joint venture operators of surgery centers in the United States, released a white paper today which defines a trend that empowers health systems to adapt and thrive in a landscape punctuated by advances in technology, shifting public policy, and an industry-wide move toward value-based care.

The paper, HOPD to ASC Conversion: Now or Later with Transition to Value-Based Care, examines how market conditions have influenced the reversal of a trend that, only a few years ago, saw hospitals buying ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) outright and converting them to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Today, the trend is just the opposite: hospital systems are increasingly converting HOPDs to ASCs in joint ventures with physicians in their markets.

“In a fee-for-services world, hospitals received an 81% higher reimbursement rate on services performed in the HOPD over those in an ASC,” says Regent Surgical Health CEO Chris Bishop. “But those days are going fast. As health systems move toward deriving greater percentages of revenue from value-based care, the potential for higher reimbursement in an HOPD is outweighed by the advantages of leveraging a broader ambulatory platform. Mathematically, moving in the opposite direction doesn’t make sense anymore.”

As the nation’s leading surgery center management and development company, and the most experienced company offering hospital/physician ASC joint venture partnerships, Regent understands the math. The paper delves into how shifting care to a lower cost setting via HOPD conversion, supports two key strategies that drive hospital system success: improved operational efficiency and physician alignment.

“The profit opportunity is being efficient with the money, and that’s where ambulatory care options can drive the greatest value. That’s why we’re seeing the HOPD trend now go toward conversion to ASCs and why hospitals are working with an increasing sense of urgency,” adds Bishop.

Regent Surgical Health owns or operates 23 U.S. surgical facilities, 19 hospital joint ventures, two bundled payment entities, and 14 total joint replacement centers.

The white paper is available for download now.