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 CentersOften 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