About 47% of the nations estimated 5,000 ambulatory surgery centers were owned entirely by physicians in 2006down about 1 percentage point from 2004, according to a survey by the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
But the percentage of hospitals with at least a partial stake in ASCs has increased from about 29% in 2004 to approximately 32%, the study found.
I think it shows that hospitals are continuing to invest more and more resources into joint ventures with doctors in ambulatory surgery centers, said Craig Jeffries, executive director of the Johnson City, Tenn.-based trade group. It reinforces what we already know, which is that its still very much a physician-driven phenomenon, but hospitals are recognizing the need to partner with doctors.
Partnership remains by far the predominant form of involvement by hospitals, which hold outright ownership in only about 5% of the ASCs in the nation, a 1 percentage point drop from 2004, according to the December 2006 survey of about 90 facilities. Jeffries said hospitals now have a stake in about 1,500 ASCs.
The survey found that physician ownership of ASCs has not changed markedly since 2004, when all-physician ownership stood at about 48%.