Becker’s review of ASC performance in 2021 highlights the trend towards shift of higher acuity procedures from the inpatient setting to the outpatient setting, increased Medicare reimbursement rates, consolidation of ASCs by management companies, and a push by hospitals to grow their ambulatory footprint with a particular focus on the outpatient setting.
ASCs in 2021 largely had an increase in case volumes across almost all specialties, primarily due to patients willing to resume elective procedures that were postponed as well as centers remaining open.
Becker’s ASC 2021 review noted in recent years certain higher acuity procedures that were traditionally performed in an inpatient or HOPD setting have begun to shift to a freestanding ASC setting, establishing a new standard for the level of acuity that an ASC setting could handle. The shift to more acute, higher reimbursing procedures sets up the ASC subindustry for adequate growth in the coming years, providing patients with a more cost effective and efficient manner to receive care assuming CMS regulations do not further restrict the potential cases that can be performed in the ASC setting. As discussed more in depth below, the new 2022 CMS Final Rule provides cause for concern as to whether these cases will remain in the ASC setting.
- Becker’s ASC Review: ASCs in 2021 – A year in review