Spine surgeon expects 'record year' for patient volume, revenue

Practice Management

Los Angeles-based DOCS Surgery Center had a record year for case volume and revenue, Co-CEO Khawar Siddique, MD, told Becker's.

"Our growth was driven by an increase in spine, orthopedic and pain management cases eligible to be performed in an ambulatory setting," he said. "This year, we expect to have another record year."

Why? Two reasons:

1. DOCS was able to renegotiate a PPO payer contract for better per-case revenue in spine and orthopedics.

2. More surgeons are comfortable moving spine and orthopedic cases into the ASC.

Payers in some markets see the benefit of spine and orthopedic procedures in the ASC as the high quality, low cost setting. Some payers are incentivising patients to have their surgeries in the outpatient setting; in other cases, they're working with ASCs to develop sustainable or value-based contracts.

Surgeons have also taken notice of advanced technology and pain management techniques allowing patients to ambulate quicker and go home within 24 hours of their procedure. During the pandemic, when hospitals treated high volumes of COVID-19 patients and in many cases temporarily halted elective procedures, surgeons began taking cases to the ASC. When they realized surgeries can be safely done in outpatient centers, they continued to take patients there even after hospitals opened back up.

The support form payers and surgeons means growth for DOCS Surgery Center.

"Given these two changes, we are planning to expand the number of ORs by either building another suite in the current facility or purchasing a pre-existing ASC," said Dr. Siddique.

DOCS Health also broke ground on a $123 million surgical hospital late last year. The five-story hospital is replacing a smaller building the owners purchased in 2019 and is expected to be complete in 2026. When opened, the surgical hospital will supplement DOCS Health's ASC.

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