Surgery centers share accomplishments, lessons learned and goals
The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and look forward to a year of unlimited potential. To learn about the 2018 experiences and 2019 objectives of ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) throughout the country, we reached out to users of "The Note Pad," an online community developed exclusively for Surgical Notes clients.
Surgical Notes clients provided the following responses: Note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and style.
What is an accomplishment your ASC achieved in 2018 that stands out?
• "We greatly improved communication with our patients and employees."
• "Our ASC was able to effectively adapt to changes as they arose throughout the year."
• "We added total joints to our procedure list."
• "We hired several great new team members to accommodate our growth."
• "We signed new contracts with insurance companies."
• "We received zero 'deficiencies' during our state inspection, which occurred on the one-year anniversary of our Joint Commission accreditation date."
• "We added new codes to our allowable procedures list."
• "We increased our case count and revenue."
• "We reached our cash goal at least 80% of the year."
• "We finally received approval from Medicare."
What is one lesson your ASC learned in 2018?
• "We must find ways to communicate more with our employees and
improve ourtime management."
• "Communication is key."
• "Always have team-building activities. They help with communication and understanding."
• "Clear communication between the physician's office staff and surgery center staff is the foundation for a great surgical experience for our patients."
• "Communication is the key for success."
• "Contracting with [large national payer] is the longest process in the world."
• "We learned how to effectively adapt to new surgeons and employees."
• "Do not waste time outsourcing items like contract re-credentialing. If you have the information on hand, it's easier to send directly to the insurance company and ensure they receive it in a timely manner."
• "Communication is key throughout the business office, from scheduling, verification, admitting, billing, and accounts receivable. Communication produces clean claims and avoids corrected claims and waiting another 30-45 business days to get the claim paid."
• “We learned how to work around the drug shortage and be creative with purchasing."
What is one goal your ASC has for 2019?
• "Keep improving."
• "Keep learning and working hard."
• "Continue working hard and keeping our patients safe."
• "To continue to provide excellent customer service to our patients and their family members."
• "Add more cases."
• "Bring in a new specialty."
• "Adding even more codes to our allowable list and upping our financial numbers."
• "Continue to build out our physician base and case count."
• "Increase patient satisfaction responses for all aspects of our operation, from comfort of the waiting room to questions being answered to clinical care provided to patients."
• "Improve case volume by bringing in more surgeons."
Survey respondents cite employee and patient communication as having a direct impact on the success of their ASCs in 2018. Most are also in agreement that improving case volume and patient satisfaction while maintaining high clinical and patient safety standards were goals for 2019. For more information on some of the biggest developments affecting the ASC industry in 2018, review "Looking Back at 2018: What a Year for ASCs!"