ASC leaders share why they believe 2024 will be a positive year for the industry
We recently published a blog post where several ambulatory surgery centers leaders, including representatives from Surgical Information Systems (SIS), identified reasons why they considered 2023 a successful. Below, these same ASC leaders discuss why they are optimistic about 2024.
Jeffrey Flynn, CASC, Administrator and Chief Operating Officer, Gramercy Surgery Center: I'm always the optimist, but I think there should be a lot of optimism for ASCs in New York in 2024. For the first time, we have a governor who is very pro-ASC and knows what an ASC is. She's visited surgery centers and views us as a solution to some of the healthcare challenges facing the state, including its deficit. We want to push to get cardiac procedures in ASCs approved in New York as we are not currently permitted to do those cardiology procedures approved by Medicare over the past few years. Our new health commissioner is also very open to ambulatory health care, so we're excited about having open discussions with the governor and the health department about opportunities to expand access.
Todd Logan, Chief Growth Officer, Surgical Information Systems: How can you not be optimistic for ASCs? 2024 should be a year of impressive market growth and a lot of expansion for surgery centers across every geographic area of the country, which will include many new surgery centers. There's growing demand for the exceptional surgical care provided by ASCs, thanks, in part, to the recognition by more patients and payers that surgery centers are the optimal site for surgery for a growing number of procedures. The number of new ASCs may exceed expectations if we see further easing of restrictive certificate of need (CON) laws, which would improve much-needed access to surgery centers.
Jessica Nelson, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Services, Surgical Information Systems: One of the reasons I'm optimistic for ASCs is the continued technology advancements I look forward to seeing and using in 2024. These will include rules engine/pre-claim edits built from machine learning. There's so much potential out there for technology to further transform the ASC revenue cycle. Tapping into that technology will improve our overall efficiency and accuracy, which will lead toward even better results and performance for our ASCs.
Katie Pierson, DNP, RN, ONC, CASC, Regulatory Specialist, Ambulatory Healthcare Strategies: From a personal standpoint, I'm optimistic about the work I will be doing in 2024, which will include assisting ASCs in realizing what implementing technology can do for them. A lot of surgery centers have avoided technology for one reason or another, but that mindset is changing. A big reason is there's a movement within the industry toward wanting to be viewed as higher-quality performers and providers of care by the federal government, payers, and patients. Technology is playing a key role in allowing us to demonstrate what we know is true.
I'm looking forward to helping ASCs get over the initial burden they can feel when considering whether to adopt new technology. This feeling is natural, but I am a firm believer in what technology and data can do for ASCs, so I will be focusing on helping centers understand their options and how the right technology can help them achieve their visions for their ASCs.
Thomas Pinelli, Vice President of Product Management, Surgical Information Systems: I am looking forward to what should be a great 2024 for SIS and our clients. We will be continuing our client delight initiative as well as continuing to deliver capabilities that provide top-notch security and privacy so we can better protect our clients' data. Last year, SIS Complete earned certified status by HITRUST for information security, and we remain focused on leading the ASC software industry in this area.
Another area I'm excited about highlighting is our continued focus on "enterprise ASCs." Working closely with our management company partners and other organizations that oversee multiple ASCs, we continue to deliver industry leading capabilities to meet their unique needs for managing multiple entities in one organization. Advancements in this area are designed to help improve efficiency and overall performance and include enabling enterprises to better manage standards within their ASCs, use combined views and workflows, and manage multiple ASCs from a single screen.
Raghu Reddy, MBA, BS, CMR, Chief Administrative Officer, SurgCenter of Western Maryland: 2023 was a great year for us, which makes me optimistic for 2024. A lot of ASCs are expanding their capacity. If everything goes as planned, we'll be doing so as well this year. The outward migration of cases from hospitals to ASCs is growing at a rapid pace. We've been able to add on higher-acuity cases and expect to continue to do so. Our focus is on efficiencies, on growth, and on leveraging technology platforms because we all are having to wear multiple hats to do more with less to curb costs and keep us profitable. The technology piece will be critical to helping us realize the efficiencies we need to remain successful and improve outcomes.
We continue to experience the anesthesia staffing challenges that have been plaguing us for the last couple of years and will likely be with us throughout 2024. However, by increasing our volume, our ASC is probably going to reduce its anesthesia subsidy to the near minimum. I'm really encouraged by our ability to largely address this problem through growth.
I'm also encouraged by what's happening in the ASC industry CON laws. In several states where these laws exist, they're starting to relax them or consider significant changes. There is a light at the end of the tunnel in a lot of these states where they've completely stopped the development of new ASCs, or it's become extremely difficult to win a CON against the hospital lobby. As these laws ease, that should propel growth for the ASC industry for many years.
Daren Smith, Vice President of ASC Solutions, Surgical Information Systems: I have every reason to believe 2024 will be a good year for ASCs. Many key industry markers point to growth in our space, which isn't surprising given the ongoing migration of care into the outpatient surgical space, partially fueled by Medicare's expansion of the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL). There's also significant momentum behind the expansion of cardiology and growth of cardiac centers in the ASC space, which is great news for the industry and patients.
While staffing challenges look like they will remain this year, this should further motivate ASCs to focus on nurturing and retaining their exceptional staff while finding ways to improve efficiency and reduce manual tasks by adding and growing more reliant upon technology.
Keep Current With the Biggest ASC and SIS Developments
2024 is shaping up to be a big year for surgery centers and SIS. To stay up to date on the latest developments, make sure to follow SIS on LinkedIn.