The number of ambulatory surgery centers has grown more than 9% a year since 2000 and will continue to grow, according to a new report by the Health Industry Distributors Association.
I wouldnt say its surprising; I would say its telling, said Adam Korengold, the association's director of research. Youre seeing procedure migration going from the general hospital.
The volume of surgeries handled at ASCs, depending on the procedure, is expected to grow 14% to 47% by 2020, according to the trade groups Ambulatory Surgery Center Market Report. The estimate is attributed to the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
The association's report also notes a significant trend toward consolidation in the ASC market.
The number of chains grew 54% in 2006, and the share owned by chains increased by 16%, Korengold said. At this point, nearly a third of all surgery centers are owned by a chain, he said.
Craig Jeffries, executive director of the AAASC, said a subset of that figure, as well as the overall growth, involves ownership by hospital systems and companies. As many as 38% of ASCs have some level of hospital ownership, he said.
That is not fueling the growth, but underscores that ambulatory surgery centers are an important new site of surgery, because of its lower cost, high-quality outcomes and satisfaction by physicians and patients, Jeffries said. -- by Gregg Blesch