ICASC Advantage Blog

By the Numbers: The Healthcare Savings and Cost-Effectiveness of ASCs

Posted by IowaCityASC on Nov 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM

ICASC_Blog_Cost Comparison_vs1In our last blog, we outlined the differences between inpatient and outpatient care and why Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) are a reasonable choice, and in this blog, we’ll be looking at the cost-effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness is a major pull for many patients who choose to have their procedure done at an ASC, because the savings are often astronomical between a traditional hospital and an ASC.

Modern medicine is often miraculous, but the miracles performed by physicians often come with a big price tag, especially if there’s a hospital stay involved. The overnight stay associated with inpatient services drives up the price of care. Hospitalizations involving operating room procedures constituted 29 percent of the total 38.6 million hospital stays in the United States in 2011, and they accounted for 48 percent of the total $387 billion in hospital costs.[1] In short, hospital stays after a surgery cost a ton of money. That hurts all patients’ pocketbooks, but it especially affects patients who don’t really need to stay overnight at the hospital after their surgery.

Many patients who require less critical procedures can opt to receive care from an ASC, which can cut their costs dramatically. Data has found that U.S. healthcare costs are reduced by more than $38 billion per year due the availability of ASCs for outpatient procedures, and more than $5 billion of that cost reduction is accrued to the patient in savings, because, in general, ASC prices are significantly lower than hospital outpatient department (HOPD) prices for the same procedure.[2] Even though many of the same surgical procedures performed at a hospital can be done at an ASC, and some patients are recommended by their doctor to one, many patients don’t opt to have their procedure performed at an ASC. Only 48 percent of all surgical procedures approved to be performed at an ASC are actually performed at one, but if the other 52 percent were performed at an ASC, $41 billion could be saved annually.[3] Those saving add up, which can be huge for patients who opt out of traditional inpatient care at a hospital. It is estimated that in 2016 orthopedic outpatient procedures performed at ASCs had an average cost savings of 17.6 to 57.6 percent, compared to similar procedures performed at hospitals, and the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) concluded that knee arthroscopy patients could have saved $1,275 in out-of-pocket costs by choosing to have their procedure done at an ASC.[4] If you’re not a numbers person, we’re sorry for throwing so many at you, but the gist of it is that you can save a lot of your well-earned money by opting to have your procedure done at an ASC, when the option is available and viable.

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We hope you found this information helpful, whether you’re currently in need of a surgical procedure or are planning for one in the future. Our team at Iowa City Ambulatory Surgery Center would be honored to provide you with the care you need, while saving you time and money and without compromising quality of care.

Cost-Effectiveness

  • Data has found that U.S. healthcare costs are reduced by more than $38 billion per year due the availability of ASCs for outpatient procedures[5]
  • More than $5 billion of that cost reduction is accrued to the patient in savings[6]
  • Hospitalizations involving operating room procedures constituted 29 percent of the total 38.6 million hospital stays in the United States in 2011, and they accounted for 48 percent of the total $387 billion in hospital costs.[7]

Healthcare Savings

  • In 2016, orthopedic outpatient procedures performed at ASCs had an average cost savings of 17.6 to 57.6 percent, compared to similar procedures performed at hospitals
  • the ASCA concluded that knee arthroscopy patients could have saved $1,275 in out-of-pocket costs by choosing to have their procedure done at an ASC.[8]

Cost Comparison By The Numbers 

SUMMARY

Modern medicine is often miraculous, but the miracles performed by physicians often come with a big price tag, especially if there’s a hospital stay involved. The overnight stay associated with inpatient services drives up the price of care. If you’re in need on a surgical procedure that doesn’t require an overnight stay, choosing to have your surgery at an ASC can be a more cost-effective decision that can save you money. ASCs are able to provide patients with the same level of care as hospitals while saving them money. Hospitalization costs drive up the price of healthcare, but by choosing to have your procedure done at an ASC, you can receive excellent, cost-effective care.


[1] Weiss, Audrey J., Ph.D., Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D., and Roxanne M. Andrews, Ph.D. "Characteristics of Operating Room Procedures in U.S. Hospitals, 2011." Burn-Related Hospital Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits, 2013 #217. February 2014. https://hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb170-Operating-Room-Procedures-United-States-2011.jsp.
 
[2] "Study: Commercial Insurance Cost Savings in Ambulatory Surgery Centers." Economic Impact - Advancing Surgical Care.https://www.ascassociation.org/advancingsurgicalcare/reducinghealthcarecosts/costsavings/healthcarebluebookstudy
 
[3] "Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures." Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures. November 9, 2017. https://practicepartners.org/blogspost/advantages-of-asc-vs-hospital-based-procedures/.
 
[4] "Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures." Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures. November 9, 2017. https://practicepartners.org/blogspost/advantages-of-asc-vs-hospital-based-procedures/.
 
[5] "Study: Commercial Insurance Cost Savings in Ambulatory Surgery Centers." Economic Impact - Advancing Surgical Care.https://www.ascassociation.org/advancingsurgicalcare/reducinghealthcarecosts/costsavings/healthcarebluebookstudy
 
[6] "Study: Commercial Insurance Cost Savings in Ambulatory Surgery Centers." Economic Impact - Advancing Surgical Care.https://www.ascassociation.org/advancingsurgicalcare/reducinghealthcarecosts/costsavings/healthcarebluebookstudy
 
[7] Weiss, Audrey J., Ph.D., Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D., and Roxanne M. Andrews, Ph.D. "Characteristics of Operating Room Procedures in U.S. Hospitals, 2011." Burn-Related Hospital Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits, 2013 #217. February 2014. https://hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb170-Operating-Room-Procedures-United-States-2011.jsp.
 
[8] "Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures." Advantages of ASC vs Hospital Based Procedures. November 9, 2017. https://practicepartners.org/blogspost/advantages-of-asc-vs-hospital-based-procedures/.
 

Topics: ambulatory surgical center, why choose asc

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