Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Overview

The 4,200 ambulatory surgery center (ASC) firms in the US provide facilities and services to physicians to perform medical procedures that do not require an extended patient recovery period. Common services include eye procedures, endoscopies, biopsies, pain management treatments, and orthopedic procedures. Physicians have some type of ownership interest in about 90% of ASCs. Through joint ventures, hospitals have ownership interest in at least 25%.

Dependence upon Insurers

ASCs derive the majority of their revenue from third-party payers, including private insurers, managed care systems, and government sources, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Legislation Targets Physician-Owned Centers

Amendments to Stark laws, which prohibit self-referrals for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, limit growth opportunities and could significantly change ownership structures for ASCs.