“Without the emergence of ambulatory surgery centers [ASCs] as an option for care, health care expenditures would have been tens of billions of dollars higher over the past four decades. Private insurance companies tend to save similarly, which means employers also incur lower health care costs when employees utilize ASC services. For this reason, both employers and insurers have recently been exploring ways to incentivize the movement of patients and procedures to the ASC setting.” –Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Alexandria, VA, “ASC’s: A Positive Trend in Healthcare" 2011

Including an Ambulatory Surgery Center on your employer healthcare plan is a simple way to provide your employees with a high-quality option for outpatient procedures at a lower cost.  In fact, this cost saving tactic is nothing new.  A 1992 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that health insurers and employers, who often bear the brunt of surgery costs, are more attracted to outpatient centers because of the lower prices, and may provide more incentives for employers to use them. 

Many Alabama employers are considering or have already implemented a differential copay for outpatient surgery by establishing a copay that is relative to the total cost of the procedure.  Because ASC facility fees are approximately 50-60% of hospital outpatient surgery fees under commercial insurance, employers have found that setting a lower copay for an ASC compared to the hospital provides an incentive for their employees and family to choose an ASC, significantly lowering their spend and the employers spend on healthcare.  In several other states, commercial insurance companies have started incentivizing physicians to direct their patients to an ASC in order to take advantage of the inherent savings found in ASC's.  This strategy is gaining momentum as commercial insurers work to save money for their self-insured employers without sacrificing quality.

Similar savings are also found with surgery under workers' compensation.  Employers have been much more aggressive for many years with directing care to ASC's for employees under workers' compensation.  The move to incentivize employees on the group health side of the business was prompted by the discovery of the savings potential employers found with ASC's under workers' comp.  

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of using a surgery centers, visit our “Why Use A Surgery Center” page. Or, to speak with someone at AAASC, contact us today.