Ambulatory surgery centers may soon outnumber hospitals

The number of ASCs has quadrupled in just 30 years

Topics: Surgery, Service Lines, Outpatient Care, Access to Care, Quality, Performance Improvement

January 31, 2013

There are nearly as many ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) as there are hospitals in the United States, according to Tony German, the executive director of the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society.

  • Hospitals and physician-owned ASCs can benefit from co-management partnerships. Read this blog post to learn how.

According to German, there were only 1,000 ASCs in 1988. Today, there are 5,260 such centers, he says.

In comparison,  American Hospital Association data show that there are 5,724 hospitals in the United States.

"Ambulatory surgery—outpatient surgery—has left the hospital and is now more commonly done in a surgery center," German told the Dallas Business Journal. Each year, about 23 million surgeries are performed at such centers.

"Surgery centers do one thing and one thing only," German said, adding "and they do it well" (Hethcock, Dallas Business Journal, 1/29).

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