As a leader in the evolution of surgical care that has led to the establishment of affordable and safe outpatient surgery, the ASC industry has shown itself to be ahead of the curve in identifying promising avenues for improving the delivery of health care.
Faster acting and more effective anesthetics and less invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, have driven this outpatient migration. Procedures that only a few years ago required major incisions, long-acting anesthetics and extended convalescence can now be performed through closed techniques utilizing short-acting anesthetics, and with minimal recovery time.
For example, the industry has led the development of minimally invasive procedures and the advancement of technology to replace the intraocular lens. This procedure is now commonly used nearly one million times each year to restore vision for Medicare patients with cataracts. Once an inpatient hospital procedure, it can now safely be done at an ASC at a much lower price.
As medical innovation continues to advance, more and more procedures will be able to be performed safely in the outpatient setting. With a solid track record of performance in patient satisfaction, safety, quality and cost management, the ASC industry is already embracing the changes that will allow it to continue to play a leading role in raising the standards of performance in the delivery of outpatient surgical services.