Ambulatory Surgery Centers, known in the medical community as ASCs, are healthcare facilities that focus on outpatient (same day) surgical care. In 1970, the first ambulatory surgery center, coined Surgicenter, opened its door with five doctors performing surgery on opening day. Up until that time, all surgeries were performed in the hospital, which resulted in longer wait times for procedures, days spent in the hospital, and higher medical bills. The opening of the first ASC changed the way surgeries were performed and have since become a trend in the medical industry.
Today, with advancements in technology increasing the number of procedures that can be performed as outpatient, the demand for ASCs continue to rise. Surgeries such as a hip replacement, which used to require days of hospitalization, can now be performed as an outpatient procedure.
Benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Often times patients prefer ASCs over hospitals, and physicians, whether they have ownership in the ASC or not, prefer to perform surgeries in these locations. Reasons for this include:
- Convenient for the patient
- Inpatient care is not needed
- Flexibility and convenience of surgery scheduling
- Costs are lower
- High level of physician autonomy
- Top of the line supplies and technology
Insurance and government agencies also benefit from ASCs. This is due to the reimbursement rates for ambulatory surgery centers being much lower than that of a hospital. It has been estimated that ASCs save Medicare and its beneficiaries approximately $2.6 billion a year.
The Cost of Doing Business
Although ASCs are a popular option when it comes to outpatient surgery, the doctors who run the centers are reaping very little benefits. It is estimated that less than half of the ASCs in the U.S. are profitable. With lower insurance reimbursement rates and high overhead costs, many of the centers are struggling to just break even.
It is up to the management of the ASCs to keep the centers running (and profitable!). For many physicians who also have their own practices to manage, keeping up with the day to day management of the ASC can be challenging enough without having to worry about billing issues. That is where the importance of the ambulatory surgical center coding comes in.
Ambulatory Surgery Center Coding
When it comes to medical billing and coding for ASCs, there is no room for error. With the centers already under financial pressure, delayed payments are not an option. That means that medical codes must be entered correctly and the billing staff must be top of the line in order to receive reimbursements for every dollar owed, and quickly.
AMS Can Help
In order for an ASC to remain successful, the medical billers and coders must be professional, knowledgeable, and committed to its success. That is where Applied Medical Systems (AMS) comes in. Let us take the burden of ambulatory surgery center coding off your shoulders. When you chose to outsource your medical billing and coding to AMS, our team of experts will work tirelessly to make sure your ASC receives timely reimbursements with little to no errors. Contact us today to learn more or request a free quote.