WHAT IS AN ASC?

Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC’s) are health care facilities which focus on providing efficient, same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.  ASCs have transformed the outpatient experience for millions of Americans by providing them with a convenient alternative to hospital-based procedures, and they frequently do so with a strong track record of quality care and positive patient outcomes.

Patient satisfaction is a hallmark of the ASC industry.  When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General surveyed Medicare beneficiaries who had one of four procedures in an ASC, it found that 98% of the people were satisfied with their experience.  The high level of professionalism, quality and safety ASC’s offer is an important reason why patients and physicians choose ASC’s for surgical procedures.

Studies overwhelmingly show that the quality of care delivered in ASCs is equal to or better than comparable hospital care, and more than half of ASCs report that at least 70% of their surgeries start within seven minutes of the time the procedures are scheduled to begin. 

Beyond superior quality of care, ASC’s offer many cost advantages.  Since 1982, when Medicare began reimbursing ASC’s, facilities have saved the program billions of dollars. Medicare and its beneficiaries pay, on average, 72% more in a hospital or hospital outpatient department than they would pay for the same procedure from the same surgeon if performed in an ASC.  Much the same is true for privately insured or cash-paying patients.

ASC’s are not rural health clinics, urgent care centers or ambulatory care centers that provide diagnostic or primary health care services.  ASC’s also are not physicians' offices; rather, they only treat patients who have already visited a health care provider and selected surgery as the appropriate treatment for their conditions.

Adapted from information provided by the ASCA