3 ways to limit financial risk at ASCs
At ambulatory surgery centers, financial risks are ostensibly everywhere.
For example, consider neurostimulator generator implant cases at outpatient pain clinics. The procedure, which provides long-term pain relief without the need for opioid-based painkillers, typically follows a trial stimulation to determine the efficacy of permanently implanting a lead and generator in the patient.
While these procedures can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life, they can expose ambulatory surgery centers to considerable financial risks. ASCs typically accrue per-case expenses of $30,000 or more in device and labor costs for the procedures; and if the appropriate medical necessity requirements and other due diligence steps are not met beforehand, the ASC may end up writing off the debt.
Neurostimulator cases are not unique in this regard. According to a 2017 survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives, healthcare decision makers’ top concerns are all related to financial risk: supply and device costs, reimbursement challenges, operation costs and revenue cycle management. Complicating matters, cases involving implants and other expensive supplies often must be paid for by the center in advance — and with no guarantee of eventual reimbursement by the payer.
But these financial risks are preventable by performing your due diligence. Here are three ways to limit your exposure.