Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are health care facilities which offer patients the opportunity to have surgical and procedural services performed outside the hospital setting.
In the ASC setting, physicians are able to schedule procedures more conveniently, assemble teams of specially-trained and highly skilled staff, ensure the equipment and supplies being used are best suited to their technique that is tailored to their specialties. By operating in ASCs instead of hospitals, physicians gain the opportunity to have more direct control over their surgical practices.
All ASCs serving Medicare beneficiaries must be certified by the Medicare program. An ASC must comply with standards developed by the federal government in order to be certified, for the specific purpose of ensuring the safety of the patient and the quality of the facility, physicians, staff, services and management of the ASC. The ASC must demonstrate compliance with these Medicare standards initially and then also on an ongoing basis.
ASCs have historically had very low infection rates.
ASCs are required to implement and monitor policies that ensure the facility provides quality health care in a safe environment. Continuous quality improvement is an important means of assuring patients are receiving the best care possible.
With their keen focus on ensuring the quality of the services provided ASCs continue to be so successful with patients, physicians and insurers.
Recent surveys show average patient satisfaction levels in ASCs exceeding 90 percent. Safe and high quality services, ease of scheduling, greater personal attention and lower costs are among the main reasons cited for the growing popularity of ASCs as a place for having surgery.