Ambulatory surgery centers save money without sacrificing quality and are likely to play an increasingly important role in reducing the cost and improving the quality of health care, says a study published in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs.
Researchers who examined data from 52,000 surgeries at 437 facilities over a 4-year period found that ASCs achieved the same qualitative results in 25% less time. That, the researchers say, saves between $363 and $1,000 per patient.
Given that the Affordable Care Act is expected to provide an estimated 25 million more Americans with health insurance over the next 2 years, the researchers suggest that ASCs are likely to play a crucial role in meeting this anticipated surge in demand.
The study was compiled by health economists Elizabeth Munnich of the University of Louisville (Ky.) and Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota.