Specialized Outpatient Surgery Centers -- Experience Matters

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A newly published study reports that specialization and high case volume improves Ambulatory Surgery Centers' patient outcomes. With over 100,000 patient visits and 12,000 surgical procedures each year, Southwest Florida's Center For Sight knows about exceeding patients' expectations.

Center For Sight, with 8 offices throughout Southwest Florida

"With over 100,000 patient visits and 12,000 surgical procedures per year, we know about exceeding patients' expectations. Our ASC is tightly controlled, allowing only Center For Sight physicians to perform surgeries in the facility." - James Dawes, CAO

A 2010 study recently published online by the journal Medical Care Research and Review reports that specialization and high case volume improves Ambulatory Surgery Centers' (ASCs) patient outcomes. Through statistical analysis, researchers based at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of the South Florida Health College of Medicine in Tampa found that the more a facility specialized in its services -- and the higher its case volume for those services, the higher its patient quality scores.

The researchers defined quality performance as the likelihood that an ASC patient undergoing surgery would avoid unplanned hospitalization within 30 days after the procedure.

One of the most common procedures performed in ASCs is cataract and lens replacement surgery, accounting for nearly 9% of all outpatient surgeries (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). Center For Sight's Ambulatory Surgery Center devoted to ophthalmological procedures, with an All-Laser LASIK suite and three operating rooms used to perform cataract surgery, glaucoma, retina and oculoplasitc surgery.

In 2007 the journal Ophthalmology published the results of a study examining the association between annual surgeon volume of cataract procedures and the risk of postoperative adverse events. The researchers' findings indicated that surgeons who perform more procedures have better patient outcomes than surgeons who perform fewer procedures.

"With over 100,000 patient visits and 12,000 surgical procedures per year, Center For Sight knows about exceeding patients' expectations. Our ASC is tightly controlled, allowing only Center For Sight physicians to perform surgeries in the facility. We also elect to undergo extensive, peer-reviewed on-site surveys of our center in order to earn accreditation through the AAAHC. Not all ASCs choose to apply for this," comments James D. Dawes, Center For Sight Chief Administrative Officer. "This study, in addition to many others, continues to emphasize the importance -- and advantages -- of concentrating on what you do best."

Ambulatory surgery, or outpatient surgery, is provided for patients requiring less than a 24-hour stay. ASCs have become more common throughout the U.S. for two main reasons. First, advances in surgical technology and anesthesia have made surgery easier on patients and so consequently more in demand; and secondly, the cost of providing the same procedure in an outpatient surgical setting is often considerably less than in the hospital outpatient surgery departments (HOPDs). These factors make it a more popular choice for patients and insurance providers alike. In addition to the substantial savings, according to the KNG Health Consulting LLC study, there is a decreased risk of healthcare associated infections.

Ambulatory Surgery Centers may offer more convenient locations, shorter waiting times, and easier scheduling for patients -- plus the ASC setting gives patients access to the most recent technological advances available. (MedPAC 2009). Coinsurance amounts are lower for services provided in ASCs as compared to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs), as are Medicare program payments for services. Reviews suggest that the specialized focused characteristics of many ASCs improve patient outcomes, and these additional studies confirm this relationship between volume and quality.

Center For Sight is a multi-physician practice with offices throughout Southwest Florida. For more information call (941) 925-2020, toll free at (800) 941-6956 or visit http://www.CenterForSight.net.

Media Contact:
Frances Wilhelm, Director of Sales and Marketing, 941.480.2137 or fwilhelm(at)CenterForSight(dot)net.

With locations throughout Southwest Florida, Center For Sight is the nation's leading multi-disciplinary physician group providing patients worldwide with advanced healthcare in ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology, cosmetic facial surgery and hearing services. Under the clinical direction of David W. Shoemaker, M.D. and William J. Lahners, M.D., F.A.C.S., Center For Sight has eight offices located in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton, Englewood, North Port and Sun City Center. For more information, visit http://www.CenterForSight.net or call (800) 941.6956.

Sources:
KNG Study, "An Analysis of Recent Growth of Ambulatory Surgical Centers, 6/2009)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services )
MedPAC/RAND Health
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Medical Care Research and Review
NIH/Pubmed

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