Why this surgeon is worries about the future of independent spine ASCs 

As inflation skyrockets and the orthopedic industry increasingly consolidates, many leaders are worried about the viability of independent spine ASCs

James Chappuis, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Spine Center Atlanta, recently spoke with Becker's about why he believes there will be a decline in independent spine ASCs. 

Question: Will there be more or fewer independent orthopedic and spine ASCs 5 years from now? Why?

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.

Dr. James Chappuis: Unfortunately, there will be a significant decrease in independent ortho/spine ASC practices. This change will be caused by the constant decrease in reimbursement and the increase in cost due to inflation. The profit margin then becomes minimal, if there is any at all. Without any profit to reinvest into independent ASCs, they will falter and turn to a profitable sale to a local hospital or a merger/acquisition as an exit strategy. 

Corporate takeovers in our country's medical sector march on because of the depersonalization and lack of emphasis on exceptional patient care. There is a glimmer of a future with well-run ASC centers of excellence if there are changes in compensation. The types of compensation that could flourish this specialized type of care could be cash-based or another alternative to the insurance-based system.

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