September/October 2021 Issue of Becker's ASC Review

September/October 2021 Issue of Becker's ASC Review

ON THE COVER

10 of the largest ASC chains in the US | 2021
Many of the largest ASC chains in the U.S. grew last year during the pandemic.

The ASC-hospital power shift: Who will win the next 3-5 years?
In 2020, more complex surgeries rapidly moved into ASCs as hospitals were overburdened with COVID-19 cases.

Why restoring the inpatient-only list is good for ASCs & more wins in CMS pay proposal
CMS proposed several changes to the 2022 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and ASC Payment System that reverse policies many considered favorable to ASCs.

ASCs are growing, but 5 threats remain
ASCs had a breakout year in 2020 as more cases migrated to outpatient centers while inpatient hospitals focused on COVID-19 patients.

ASC sues to block hospital's 'anticompetitive' acquisition: 5 details
A Marion, Ill.-based multispecialty ASC is testing President Joe Biden's executive order to scrutinize and halt acquisitions that would limit competition and increase healthcare prices.

What's worrying ASC leaders?
ASC leaders are navigating extensive industry shifts — from the recent surge in COVID-19 cases to CMS removing 258 procedures from the ASC payable list.

12 most-recruited physician specialties
Merritt Hawkins released its list of the most recruited physician and advanced practice specialties for 2021 Aug. 9.

Orthopedic surgeon's $9M win against Texas ASC overturned
An orthopedic surgeon’s multimillion-dollar win against a Texas surgery center has been taken back.

USPI, AmSurg & more: large ASC chains by the numbers
Here's the number of ASCs, affiliated positions and states with centers for seven of the largest ASC chains:

70% of physicians are now employed by hospitals or corporations
By the end of 2020, almost 70 percent of physicians reported being employed, and there was a steep acceleration of physicians joining hospitals or corporate entities in the last six months of the year.

The tech changing the ASC industry: Leaders weigh in
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the push for ASCs to update technology to meet patients' needs remotely, as well as the migration of new surgical innovations like artificial intelligence and robotics to ASCs.

ASC MANAGEMENT

What ending noncompetes means for ASCs, physicians: 8 notes
President Joe Biden signed an executive order July 9 encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to limit or ban noncompete agreements.

Spine surgeon opening ASC in Florida in late 2021
Spine surgeon Chukwuka Okafor, MD, is opening a surgery center this year to capitalize on the accelerating trend of outpatient migration, The Ledger reported July 6.

Kentucky surgeons leave hospital employment to open private practice, ASC
Two orthopedic surgeons left their hospital employment to establish the Louisville (Ken.) Hip & Knee Institute and build an ASC, according to an article written by the practice published June June 24 in Louisville Business First.

Orthopedic surgeon's $9M win against Texas ASC overturned
An orthopedic surgeon’s multimillion-dollar win against a Texas surgery center has been taken back.

ASCs may get extra pay bump from CMS next year for 440 surgeries
While CMS proposed removing 258 recently added procedures from the ASC-payable list in its 2022 proposed payment rule, another policy change would add some procedures and improve payment for hundreds of others in the outpatient setting.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

'It's an obvious step backwards': ASC execs pan CMS' 2022 proposed pay changes
ASC owners and executives are critical of CMS' plan to cut procedures from the ASC payable list and add several surgeries back to the inpatient-only list after removing them in January.

Ohio hospital adds rooms after closing surgery center
Dayton, Ohio-based Kettering Health added 30 beds after closing its surgery center, Dayton Daily News reported July 23.

What should price transparency look like in ASCs?
With CMS' price transparency rule becoming an increasingly controversial issue for hospitals, ASC leaders have their own ideas on how centers should communicate pricing.

3 ASC trends one CEO is following closely
Raleigh, N.C., has seen extensive ASC growth in the past year — its population has increased 18.7 percent since 2010.

How important is independence to ASCs?
With increased industry consolidation and almost 70 percent of physicians reporting being employed by hospitals at the end of 2020, ASC leaders have differing opinions on the importance of independence.

JOINT VENTURES

ASC market to hit $33B by 2028 & 7 other analysis takeaways
The U.S. ASC market is poised for significant growth in the next seven years, according to a report from New York marketing research firm Research Nester.

Minnesota ASC 1st in state to perform spine surgery with Medtronic robot
Woodbury, Minn.-based Summit Orthopedics' Eagan Surgery Center was reportedly the first ASC in the state to perform spine surgery with the Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic system.

AdventHealth building joint-venture spine facility in Florida
AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute is building a spine-focused medical facility with real estate investment firm Verax Investments in Winter Garden, Fla., the investment firm said Aug. 2.

ValueHealth developing joint replacement facility with ASC in Pennsylvania
ValueHealth is building a joint replacement facility with an ASC in Concord Township, Pa., Bernardon, an architecture firm involved with the project, said Aug. 5.

$16M ASC opened by Ascension Saint Thomas
A two-story multispecialty surgery center opened Aug. 4 at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Tenn., according to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.

GASTROENTROLOGY

Gastroenterologist pay by years of experience: 12 stats
Gastroenterologists earn an average salary of $406,000, the seventh highest-paid medical specialty in 2021, and reach their highest rate of compensation after about 15 years of practice.

Gastro Health adds 7-physician practice in Virginia
Miami, Fla.-based practice management group Gastro Health signed an agreement to add Reston, Va.-based The Gastroenterology Group, according to an Aug. 3 news release.

CMS grants additional reimbursement for single-use duodenoscope
CMS granted a new technology add-on payment for single-use duodenoscopes, according to an Aug. 2 news release.

What will PE do to GI care? 4 physicians weigh in
Private equity investment has grown rapidly in 2021 with groups such as PE GI Alliance, Gastro Health and GI Alliance snapping up deals.

5-physician endoscopy center sold in New Mexico
The five-physician, Las Cruces, N.M.-based Lohman Endoscopy Center was sold by Healthcare Real Estate Advisors.

ORTHOPEDICS

CMS changes that spine surgeons want to see
While CMS' decision last year to gradually phase out the inpatient-only list has been widely welcomed by the spine community, other regulatory changes related to reduced reimbursement and increased prior authorization requirements have not.

7 numbers making orthopedic surgeons nervous
Orthopedic surgeons had a tough year in 2020, with many elective procedures canceled or postponed, leaving some to speculate that case volume may never recover.

$3.5M kickback scheme allegedly involved 3 physicians at Maryland spine group
Three physicians affiliated with Rockville, MD.-based National Spine & Pain Centers have been named as defendants in a $3.5 million kickback scheme that allegedly ordered unnecessary genetic tests for Medicare and Medicaid patients, The Orange County Register reported July 21.

Orthopedic surgeon in legal battle with Adena joins competing system
Brian Cohen, MD, an orthopedic surgeon previously employed with Adena Health System, is now practicing with Columbus-based OhioHealth, according to the Chillicothe Gazette.

Bioventus to acquire spine company for $518M
Bioventus has entered an agreement to acquire Misonix for $518 million in a cash-and-stock transaction.

OPIOID REDUCTION

Does opioid prescription monitoring lead patients to seek more dangerous alternatives?
In June, Missouri became the 50th state to establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. However, experts are still split over whether such programs effectively decrease opioid-related overdoses, Kaiser Health News reported July 26.

Seattle Children's hospital scraps opioids from ASC
Seattle Children's hospital is seeing the benefits of eliminating opioids during surgery at its ASC in Bellevue, Wash., local news outlet KIRO 7 News reported July 20.

J&J stops distributing opioids in the US, pays New York $230M
Johnson & Johnson confirmed it has ended its distribution of opioids in the U.S. when it agreed to a $230 million settlement with New York over its role in the opioid epidemic.

Pharma companies reach $26B civil opioid settlement
The country's three major drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen — along with Johnson & Johnson have reached a $26 billion deal with states and local governments that would release the drug companies from all civil liability related to the opioid epidemic, The New York Times reported.

Black patients prescribed fewer opioids than white patients at the same hospitals, study shows
White patients were prescribed more opioids to treat their pain than Black patients receiving care at the same health system, according to a study published July 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

HEALTHCARE NEWS

70% of physicians are now employed by hospitals or corporations
By the end of 2020, almost 70 percent of physicians reported being employed, and there was a steep acceleration of physicians joining hospitals or corporate entities in the last six months of the year.

14 healthcare CEOs with best employee reviews on Glassdoor
Job and recruiting site Glassdoor released the winners of its annual Employees' Choice Award, honoring the top-rated CEOs in 2021.

Physician lives at Tennessee hospital to be available around the clock
Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida, Tenn., is one of dozens of rural hospitals across the country struggling to keep its doors open.

Surgeon sues to break up IU Health's 'monopoly' on primary care, vascular surgery
The only independent vascular surgeon in Southern Indiana alleged in a lawsuit that IU Health's monopoly on primary care physicians and vascular surgeons in Bloomington is anti-competitive and lowers care standards.

Physicians who post COVID-19 vaccine misinformation may lose license, medical panel says
The Federation of State Medical Boards warned July 29 that physicians and other healthcare professionals could be at risk of losing their medical licenses if they spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on social media, online and in the media.

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