How spine ASCs fit into the future of healthcare: Key thoughts from Dr. Anthony Yeung


Anthony Yeung, MD, founder of Desert Institute for Spine Care in Phoenix, discusses his thoughts on how spine surgery will evolve over the next five years.

Dr. Yeung is speaking on a panel titled "ASCs, Orthopedics and Spine: The Next 5 Years" at the Becker’s 15th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference + The Future of Spine on June 22 to 24, 2017 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.


Question: How do you see spine evolving in ASCs over the next five years? How will they change and how will they stay the same?


Dr. Anthony Yeung: Current escalation of costs by health care Stakeholders and patient demand cannot be sustained. ASCs are currently the most cost efficient way to stem the rising cost of surgery and nothing is free, so results have to match the cost and efficacy of the treatment for a given time frame.


The future hopefully will be less regulation by President Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price to allow ASCs to compete in a free market by being more efficient and effective in the delivery of healthcare. Multidisciplinary ASCs with surgeons in charge of procedure privileges at the ASC may ensure appropriateness and quality since the provider entity is at risk financially.


Let regulations help ASCs with incentives to develop surgery recovery centers affiliated with the ASC, thus making it safer for outpatient procedures that offers routine postop monitoring and pain control, ie., known postop risks such as postop breathing difficulty from obstructive airway complications. Patients must be able and willing to pay for their care when not covered by their insurance plans.


Q: What opportunities are there for spine surgeons to expand their outpatient ASC and practice?


AY: They will have to provide service and care more efficiently than competing entities, like hospitals, but also be able to deliver better results, not just do it cheaper.


Q: What do spine surgeons need to know about payers and reimbursement for their procedures in ASCs?


AY: It is a moving target. Payers will continue to reduce reimbursement, and will likely be able to do so until the surgeons and providers learn to play the game, thus increasing the costs even more.
This is not a good time to be in healthcare when a doctor can no longer be able to do what they are trained to do.


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