Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) is a modern health care facility that has been established to provide same-day surgical services that include both diagnostic and preventive procedures. The concept was introduced into the nations healthcare system in early 1970 and as at 2017, there are about 5300 ASCs throughout the country, which performs an estimated 23 million surgeries every year ("WISCA", 2017).
Despite the excellent quality care delivery, ASC has faced several challenges, which include a decreased number of clients due to high deductibles, the disappearance of out-of-network due to the insurers tight budgets, cases of physicians taking cases outside ASC, and infrastructural constraints among others (Fields, 2017). The main challenge subject of this presentation is ASCs difficulty of recruiting physicians. According to Towado (2017), there are several market recruitment challenges facing the ASC. One of the major issues is that theyre fewer numbers of physicians willing to relocate to rural areas. The same study shows that less than 10% of these physicians want to practice in rural America. This becomes very difficult to recruit if the ASC will be based in such locations. Another issue is the direct competition between the ASC and Hospital for the specialists. With many cases of close-proximity of the two, with no joint venture, the recruitment process is prone to conflict. Additionally, the current national trend where a local health system is purchasing physician practices, eventually, there will be an overload in their affiliated ASCs, a scenario that is going to worsen the existing the staffing issues in these organizations (Pallardy, 2017).
Assuming that an ASC is efficient enough and there is an ample opportunity to increase surgical capacity, the following approach will greatly help in overcoming the recruitment hurdles identified above. To address the issue of the unwillingness of physicians to relocate to rural areas, apart from monetary incentives and employing more physician assistants, it would be very important to actually involve the current physicians at the rural ASCs in the recruitment process. Bringing onboard successful physicians in that particular center plays a great role in convincing the candidate that there is a practice opportunity and it will be a rewarding decision.
Regarding the issue of direct competition between ASCs and the hospitals, the best way to overcome it is by adopting a Regent model. This model encourages hospitals and ASCs to form joint ventures where the hospital and Regent own 51 % of the venture and 49% is owned by the ASC physicians who take up the day-to-day operations including recruitment of physicians (Regent, 2017).
Looking at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it primarily focuses on two changes, value-based purchasing and ensuring accountability of care through electronic health records (EHRs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs) (DeJohn, 2014). Though the discussion regarding the impact of ACA on ASC has revolved around the change from fee for service to reimbursement, the act has resulted to increase in the number of patients seeking ASCs services. DeJohn (2014) further shows that by joining or forming an ACO, ASCs will have a potential of increasing their revenue because of the shared savings emphasized by the organization. On the actual impact of the care Act on the recruitment, since 2013, pressure on the existing pool of physicians has intensified because ACA has instigated an increase in ASC patient traffic. Furthermore, the key emphasis on quality care has not only put the pressure on ensuring acquisition of the best specialists but also it has forced the recruiters to implement ERH and ASO attributes into their centers to ensure they attract job candidates
As seen from the presentation, there is a need to address the physician recruitment issue in the ASCs because eventually, it is the physicians who play great roles in achieving the fundamental objectives of the ACA, which are quality and accountable care in the nations healthcare system.
DeJohn, P. (2014). ACA will bring more patients to ASCs--but will profits follow?. OR manager, 30(2), 29-31.Fields, R. (2017). 5 Challenges Facing Ambulatory Surgery Center Administrators. Beckersasc.com. Retrieved 16 November 2017, from https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/5-challenges-facing-ambulatory-surgery-center-administrators.html
Pallardy, C. (2017). 11 ASC Administrators on the Biggest Challenges in Their Surgery Centers. Beckersasc.com. Retrieved 16 November 2017, from https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/11-asc-administrators-on-biggest-challenges-in-their-surgery-centers.html
Regent .(2017).Physician Recruitment Trends for ASCs - Regent Surgical Health. (2017). Regent Surgical Health. Retrieved 17 November 2017, from https://regentsurgicalhealth.com/physician-recruitment-trends-for-ascs/
Tawoda, T. (2017). 9 Points on Recruiting New Physicians in Tough Markets. Beckersasc.com. Retrieved 16 November 2017, from https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/9-points-on-recruiting-new-physicians-in-tough-markets.html
Beckers Review (2017).6 Tips for Recruiting Physicians to Rural Hospitals. Beckershospitalreview.com. Retrieved 17 November 2017, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/6-tips-for-recruiting-physicians-to-rural-hospitals.html
WISCA. (2017). Wisc-asc.org. Retrieved 16 November 2017, from http://www.wisc-asc.org/?page=asc
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