ASC growth could hinge on this policy 

Patient and provider interest in ASCs is rising, but markets that have stringent certificate-of-need laws could struggle, leaders say. 

Many states across the country are pushing to repeal or reform certificate-of-need laws, which govern where providers can build facilities. 

Christopher Blanchard, DO, co-medical director of Atlanta-based Resurgens Spine Center, joined Becker's to discuss how ASC growth depends on certificate-of-need laws, as well as the biggest misconceptions of the industry. 

Question: What will the ASC industry look like in 10 years?

Dr. Christopher Blanchard: I think the 10-year future of the ASC industry will vary largely based on the region. We are seeing more and more cases move to ASCs with better outcomes at significantly lower costs. In many states, hospital systems are fighting this migration with certificate-of-need laws. In areas with no or favorable CON laws, we will see more cases moved to ASCs. I believe in areas where CON laws are in place, we will still see a continued migration of cases but at a lower rate. This will ultimately lead to increased costs for the patients and healthcare system.  

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about the ASC industry?

CD: One of the biggest misconceptions about ASCs is the scope of surgery that is able to be performed in an ASC setting. For decades, ASCs have been relegated to performing more minor cases like arthroscopies, foot and ankle and hand surgeries. Now we are seeing higher acuity cases such as total joint replacement and spine surgery be done in an ASC setting with great outcomes and lower overall cost.  

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