2016 was a momentous year for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) on the forefront of a major trend: the transition of total joint replacement surgeries from inpatient to outpatient sites of care. As the leader in developing and managing successful joint venture surgery center partnerships, Regent Surgical Health took an active role in this transition, creating both pre- and post-operative protocols to ease the way to change.

With an extremely successful year drawing to a close, Regent’s CEO Chris Bishop took some time to reflect on the year’s milestones, and look ahead to 2017.

“2016 was a record breaking growth year for us,” Bishop said. “We started construction on four new de novo surgery centers with all four anticipated to open next year. And better yet, we anticipate exceeding that growth in 2017 based on our pipeline as it stands today. Our expanded team is well prepared to ensure we not only open these projects well, but have the capacity to open several additional centers in 2017.”

According to Bishop, Regent’s ASCs saw 300% growth in total joint volumes in 2016. “It’s because we’re being very intentional about communicating with surgeons about outpatient joint replacement,” he said. “For them, transitioning to a surgery center is appealing but understandably, surgeons and staff are proceeding with caution. We help by utilizing seasoned clinicians and protocols to aid them with this transition.”

Regent’s approach has been to focus on showing, not telling. The company provides a written protocol from their own successful surgery centers, and actually flies clinical team members to a working site so physicians can learn the surgeons’ techniques first hand, and clinicians can observe how to set up, turn the room properly, and prepare resources for recovery to ensure patients are getting up and moving around as soon as they should.

“Doctors learn better from other doctors, and scrub techs learn better from their peers,” Bishop explained. “While outpatient total joint replacement surgery had some early adopters in 2015, it was really just this past year that the transition to higher acceptance began. Looking forward, at Regent we expect to conduct over 1,000 joint replacement surgeries next year across all of our centers.”

Regent began construction on four new ASCs in 2016, two of them heavily dedicated to total joint replacement surgery and a third completely focused there. For example, plans for Regent’s new ASC in Beaverton, OR, call for specialization in complex musculoskeletal cases and procedures, focusing on total joint replacement and spine disorders. And, the new location in Long Island, NY with 33 MD partners will have a heavy emphasis on joint replacements / orthopedics. In addition, Regent worked hard throughout the year to help ease the transition to existing ASCs for both hospitals and physicians.

“I just finished a call with a group of physicians in the Northeast who are doing 2,600 total joint replacement surgeries per year and want to shift at least half of them to an ASC within two to three years,” Bishop continued. “Leveraging our deep expertise in this field, we’re facilitating the shift for ASCs nationwide, helping them get started with knee replacements; and now some partners are performing hip replacements as well.”

Another key milestone of 2016 that fueled Regent’s growth and leadership was a strategic effort by the company to strengthen its professional team.

“When you look at the expertise of our staff, our bench strength really improved this year,” Bishop said. “We upgraded our clinical, supply chain, operations and revenue cycle management teams significantly, and that’s one of the things I’m most proud of as I look back on the year.”

Among the seasoned industry experts that joined Regent in 2016:

  • Bob Ryan, Vice President of Operations, leverages 25-years of experience working with physician partnerships in multi-site healthcare facilities to lead operations in the Northeast.
  • Stephanie Martin, Senior Director of Operations, has more than 20 years of healthcare experience to her oversight of multiple Regent centers.
  • Carter Griggs, Director, Physician Recruitment and Development, draws on over a decade of experience in the healthcare industry to lead physician recruitment and Regent’s same-store growth initiative.
  • Temi Abereoje, Supply Chain Manager, joined Regent from Ghana where she managed the Ghana operations for the largest e-commerce platform in Africa. She provides ongoing support related to supply chain optimization, inventory management system (IT) and demand planning for Regent centers.
  • Carla Daley, Senior Director of Clinical Operations, has twenty-three years’ experience in the healthcare market both clinically and administratively, including eight years in the ASC industry. She provides clinical oversight for the Regent Centers and manages the Clinical Education Program.
  • Luz Renteria, Revenue Cycle Supervisor, is a 15-year veteran of the healthcare industry and previously worked on the payer side; she is responsible for a team of revenue cycle specialists and performs audits to ensure key performance indicator goals are met.

Another major accomplishment for Regent in 2016, according to Bishop, was the launch of the company’s cyber security and bundled payment initiatives.

“With the increase in cyber hacking and the emergence of threats like ransomware, we made a concerted effort this year to really strengthen our cyber security and, thanks to the leadership of Chris Stein, we completed and launched that offering this year,” Bishop said. “We also launched our bundled payment initiative, an effort that is just underway. We’re there in terms of strategy completion, and are now talking with payers out west about contract design. Commercial Payers see the success of Medicare’s CJR program and attempting to press the outpatient program to build upon that initiative.

The end of a successful year is an opportune time to look ahead, and Bishop is excited about the possibilities in 2017 as value-based care continues to grow in acceptance and the industry moves slowly away from its traditional fee-for-service mentality.

“What’s certain is that hospitals’ need for a viable ambulatory platform will continue to grow,” Bishop said. “That’s good news for us because Regent is best positioned to assist health systems as they develop and build out ambulatory care platforms to meet the requirements of value-based care.

“As a privately owned company, Regent is best positioned to serve our hospital partnerships long term.   We focus on structuring our partnerships around the needs of hospital/partners without the constraints of Wall Street’s quarter to quarter requirements. We’re looking forward to an exciting change at year end that will have a big impact on our ability to serve in 2017 and beyond. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to hear about changes that will enable Regent to optimally serve our hospital partners throughout the next decade.”