Hospitals have a big stake in ambulatory surgery centers, says an ASC trade group, citing a recent survey.
The Johnson City, Tenn.-based American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers released the results from 64 ASCs that responded online to a survey request sent to 500 freestanding ASCs across the county.
The numbers appear to conflict with those in the March report to Congress by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which reported just 1% of ASCs nationwide were hospital-owned and -operated.
In contrast, the trade group's survey indicated 44% of ASCs in the respondents' geographic markets have some form of hospital ownership, either outright (15%) or in partnership with physicians or an ASC developer.
In comparison, physicians wholly owned 43% of the ASCs in the markets, the survey said.
In total, physicians owned a piece of 83% of ASCs in the respondents' markets, including 19% that were physician-hospital partnerships, according to the survey.
The survey also asked respondents to compare today's ownership numbers with those in 1999. Hospitals had ownership interests in 47% of facilities then, according to the survey.
"The percentage of hospital ownership is much higher than anybody has ever reported before," said Craig Jeffries, AAASC executive director. "And it hasn't changed much."