In the second article in a series on adding new business to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), OR Manager magazine (OR Manager, March 2017; 33(3) 24-27) examines emerging technologies associated with spine procedures and the likely future of performing them in the outpatient setting. Regent’s Vice President of Operations Anne Roberts, BSN, RN, is one of the experts featured, based on Regent’s work with West End Partners on the soon-to-open Oregon Surgical Institute in Beaverton, Oregon, the Surgery Center of Wasilla, Alaska and the Surgery Center of Reno, Nevada.

The article explores the trend toward moving less invasive spine surgeries to the ASC. According to OR Manager, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 100 million U.S. adults that suffer from back pain, 60% of those referred for surgery choose not to have it. It cites statistics on the growing number of spinal fusion cases being performed in ASCs – which increased by 70% between 2001 and 2011, and a predicted increase in ASC spine volume of 20% over the next 3 years.

Roberts, in her operations role with Regent Surgical Health, has been instrumental in the development of the Oregon Surgical Institute, which when it opens later in 2017 will be the first ASC designed specifically for spine and joint surgery. In the article, she says the Beaverton facility illustrates the principle of using a defined focus on spine, total joints and orthopedics, and pain management to serve a fast-growing elderly population in that geographic area. By contrast, based on population needs in Wasilla, Alaska and Reno, Nevada, Regent took the opposite approach, developing an ASC that serves multiple specialties, including spine.

“With new technology, we are going to see more spinal fusion in ASCs,” Roberts told the OR Manager reporter, adding that improved pain management also will help as non-narcotic methods become available. She said the key to making spine surgery work financially is to align the efforts of all participants, from physicians to insurance companies to equipment vendors. “To make these cases work in the outpatient setting, you have to have your goals aligned with both the physician’s and the supplier’s.”

Regent Surgical Health currently manages 23 ASCs across the United States and Europe. Click here to learn more about Regent Surgical Health’s approach to ambulatory care strategies.