Many large health systems are forming strategic partnerships and joint ventures for the development or management of ambulatory surgery centers as care continues to shift from inpatient to outpatient settings.
Payers, patients and providers see ASCs as a low-cost, high-quality site for care, but health systems also see other advantages in expanding their outpatient footprint, including increasing market share, recruiting top-line, quality physicians and attracting news business.
“Our biggest growth is in outpatient care. Some think we are only a hospital system, but only about 46 percent of our business is from our hospital sector today,” New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health CEO Dowling told Becker’s. “The more you expand ambulatory and grow in the right locations, the more you increase market share, which brings more of the necessary inpatient care back to your hospitals,”
Here are four health systems that recently announced ASC partnerships or joint ventures.
1. Methodist Health System (Dallas)
Methodist, a 12-hospital system, teamed with Surgery Partners to acquire and open ASCs in North Texas.
The ASCs will offer patients more cost-effective and convenient options for surgical and procedural care closer to him, Methodist said in an Aug. 14 news release. The ASCs will provide physicians an investment opportunity as well as a path to be more directly involved in the facility where they provide care.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners, one of the country’s largest ASC chains, will manage the Methodist Mansfield (Texas) Ambulatory Surgery Center, and the two organizations will work together to acquire and develop new ASCs in the region.
“ASCs add a new option to provide convenient and cost-effective care for outpatient surgery,” Methodist CEO James Scoggin, Jr. said. “The collaborative efforts with Surgery Partners will not only meet market demands but will provide new job opportunities across the region. It’s a win-win.”
2. Bon Secours Mercy Health System (Cincinnati)
Bon Secours Mercy Health, a 48-hospital Catholic system, partnered with Compass Surgical Partners to develop more than 30 ASCs across multiple states.
Compass will work with Bon Secours Mercy Health of Ohio to develop the ASCs over the next few years throughout the system’s footprint, which includes Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York and Florida. The network could expand into other states, such as North Carolina.
“Providing quality outpatient surgical care is an important investment for the communities we serve, enabling us to expand access to care for patients in a way that is accessible and appropriate for their individual care needs,” Bon Secours Mercy Health COO Don Kline said in a news release. “Compass Surgical Partners’ expertise in creating patient-centered ambulatory surgical centers, coupled with their successful track record of leadership in this important space, makes them an ideal partner for this long-term initiative.”
3. OhioHealth (Columbus)
OhioHealth and Surgery Partners agreed to create a company that will grow ASC joint ventures across Ohio.
The partnership will use a phased approach for growth, beginning with expansion opportunities within the 50 counties OhioHealth serves, followed by an opportunity review of the remaining 38 counties. It will foster relationships with top surgeons in the state, offering them an opportunity to further invest in their practice, patients and community.
OhioHealth said the joint venture will also support physician independence. Under the model, physicians can continue to have a say in day-to-day operations and strategic decisions for long-term growth while benefiting from the scale and management experience of OhioHealth and Surgery Partners, which has more than 180 outpatient facilities and 4,600 physicians
4. Intermountain Health (Salt Lake City)
Intermountain signed a collaboration agreement with Surgery Partners for the management of the system’s existing ASCs in Utah and Idaho and the development of surgery centers in other markets.
Intermountain currently has five ASCs across Utah and plans to open more over the next year. This collaboration agreement will accelerate those efforts.
“Combining [Surgery Partners’] expertise and experience with ours will add significant value for our surgery patients and caregivers and will establish an operating model upon which we can build as we continue to expand outpatient care at other locations,” Mike Clark, Intermountain’s executive lead of ASCs, said.