Increased caseloads. New centers being built across the nation. Collaboration among surgeons. The recent growth of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) has brought much attention to the ambulatory surgery center industry as organizations and patients struggle to find the most cost-effective ways to deliver/receive care.

ambulatory surgery center industry expands the use of analytics

As the ambulatory surgery center industry expands, so do the policies and regulations, plus the technology to keep track of progress.

With the newfound attention and growth also come regulations, policies, and compliance updates. On the bright side – the changing landscape has also brought about a robust ASC Analytics tool designed to drive smart business decisions. Keep reading as we explore these advancements for ASCs.

Ambulatory Surgery Center Industry Updates

It’s been a decade since The Joint Commission started the hand hygiene requirement program within hospitals. Over the past several years, the deemed ambulatory surgery center (ASC) surveyors have always cited hand hygiene as an expectation from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Beginning this year, ambulatory care surveyors will issue citations if employees of any type of ambulatory care organization fail to perform proper hand hygiene according to the guidelines – before providing direct patient care, as reported by The Joint Commission.

The CDC estimates that healthcare providers only follow proper hand hygiene guidelines less than half of what they should be. Therefore, a more stringent approach was implemented in the ASC setting to help break the chain of infection and improve surgical outcomes for patients.

Policy Change for ASCs Could Cause Risk for Patients

Anthem Inc. recently made a policy change that could potentially create a risk of injury for patients, which could be up to or including blindness according to physicians groups – Unless it’s immediately rescinded, according to an article by the California Medical Association (CMA).

California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) along with the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) have requested that Anthem Inc. immediately terminate a recent policy change that makes monitored anesthesia care (MAC) not considered “medically necessary” during a cataract surgery that is considered “routine.”

Physicians feel that this move could put patients in immediate danger. Furthermore, complaints have been made to both the California Department of Insurance and the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) by the California Medical Association (CMA) backed by support from other groups as well.

Craig H. Kliger, MD, an ophthalmologist, and CAEPS Executive Vice President wrote in a letter to Anthem (PDF):

“The surgery is carried out in a tiny space about a third of the size of a thimble using a needle vibrating at ultrasonic speeds that can cause blindness if it contacts the wrong structures. Sedation is frequently vital to allow the patient to relax and avoid movement that could be catastrophic, thus minimizing risk.”

In another statement made by David H. Aizuss, MD, an ophthalmologist and President-Elect of the CMA, the issue of patient safety was stressed, “the policies around cataract surgery are vital to patient safety. Anthem’s newest policy change falls below the standard of care, and it follows a disturbing pattern of putting patients at risk to make a profit.”

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Gain Insights into Financial Performance, Internal Operations, Etc.

As reported in Becker’s Hospital Review, we have recently launched our robust analytics software for ASCs. With it, leaders can gain insights into:

  1. Case management
  2. Clinical operations
  3. Financial performance
  4. Cost analysis
  5. Scheduling

Our press release entitled, “Empowering Ambulatory Surgery Centers to Make Better Data-Driven Decisions,” was published on the 19th and reviewed key benefits of the ASC solution.

As the press release title suggests, the purpose of the new solution is to allow ASCs to gather and analyze key business information easily to guide their decisions. By digging deeper into those five areas, an enterprise will be able to pinpoint problem areas, and implement process improvements based on the performance and clinical KPIs that are delivered through an intuitive dashboard and reporting system – that’s easy to use at any experience level. Will Israel, SSI senior product manager said the following in regards to the new product:

“We recognize that many surgery centers do not have the time or resources to accurately record operational data, convey it in an easy-to-understand format and then act upon it, and that is why we have developed ASC Analytics. Now, users have the means to transform data into actionable information at their fingertips.”

Sign Up for March Webinar to Learn More About Analytics in ASCs

On March 20, we will be hosting a free webinar, in which we will explore the challenges of the traditional “doing more cases” method of running an ASC, versus the importance of evaluating the significance and value of the cases being done.

In this webinar, attendees will learn how to:

  • Digest data quickly – and thoroughly
  • Glean actionable insight for optimal performance and profitability
  • Evaluate current practices to develop operational improvement plans

Visit the event page here to sign up now!