ASCA’s Annual Conference, held from May 17th-20th in Louisville, KY, brought together experts, professionals, and vendors from the industry to explore the latest advancements and trends in the surgery center industry. With a diverse lineup of renowned speakers and sessions, the conference provided the perfect platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration.
Attendees had the opportunity to delve into topics such as negotiating contracts, planning for future success, risk management, staff recruitment, and so much more, gaining valuable insights and actionable strategies. In this blog post, we will delve into the key takeaways from this year’s ASCA Conference, highlighting the most impactful sessions and shedding light on the emerging trends shaping the industry’s future.
Hot Topic #1: Anesthesia
As more cases migrate to an outpatient setting, the topic and debate around anesthesia have followed suit. Several sessions this year were dedicated to improving scheduling workflows, strengthening relationships with providers, and expanding anesthesia types. Three takeaways include:
- Finding the right partner is key. You need a partner that can scale with you, provide a reliable and skilled workforce, improve OR efficiencies, and maintain patient safety.
- Have an honest discussion about regional anesthesia. While some doctors are quick to say no, ASCs have recently been able to increase the number of cases performed, add new specialties, shorten post-anesthesia care time, and reduce postoperative pain for patients just by adopting regional anesthesia.
- Make sure you understand the Patient ASA Classification rankings. As ASCs continue to see sicker patients, you need to be well-versed in the rankings for patient safety and insurance purposes.
Hot Topic #2: Technology
Technology plays, and will continue to play, a pivotal role in transforming every aspect of the surgery center experience. The sessions, vendors, and candid discussions at ASCA proved this yet again. Three highlights include:
- Technology will help you maximize the patient experience. This will lead to improved patient intake, real-time procedural communication, early recovery after surgery, and management/recovery of poor patient experiences.
- Centers that are embracing technology are winning and happy with their decision. Tracey Opaczewski is the Director of Quality Management and Regulatory Compliance at Allied Physicians Surgery Center, and her center has done an excellent job of adopting technology into its day-to-day workflow. When asked, “What is one piece of advice you would give her peers who are considering implementing any technology,” she replied, “Just do it.”
- The ASC industry is seeing the same trends as the Fintech industry. Innovations in finance and technology have led to the emergence of “fintech.” It’s believed healthcare is following the same path and will see a continued focus on AI, cloud, big data, and more.
Hot Topic #3: Culture & Inclusivity
The ASC ecosystem encompasses a wide range of stakeholders, including physicians, patients, patient families, staff, board members, owners, investors, partnerships, payers, local community members, and businesses. As such, fostering a culture of belonging, inclusivity, and respect is paramount for ensuring long-term sustainability and achieving success. By nurturing an environment that values the contributions and perspectives of all individuals involved, ASCs can cultivate a cohesive and collaborative community. Embracing diversity and promoting mutual respect among stakeholders enhances the overall experience for everyone involved, fosters innovation, and drives positive outcomes.
- Create a culture of belonging. A sense of belonging can foster a greater sense of purpose for an employee within their work environment that can help them connect with their workplace and find meaningfulness in their work. You can foster inclusion through listening sessions, engagement surveys, career development, and onboarding.
- Understand the role we all play in reducing the disparity of care. Maura Cash, RN, BSN, CASC, the Vice President of Clinical Strategies at HST Pathways, shared, “While the world wants us to speed up, in order to properly address social determinants of health, sometimes we must slow down.”
- Foster a larger, more inclusive community. Create your organization’s beliefs and values, participate in local events to educate your community, and be more vocal about the value you bring.
National Medical Billing Services Has Rebranded to nimble solutions.
St. Louis-based National Medical Billing Services has rebranded as nimble solutions to reflect its values of agility, innovation, and client-centricity. The name change signifies the company’s commitment to problem-solving, innovative solutions, and meeting client needs. nimble solutions brings together the expertise of mdStrategies, MedTek, Medi-Corp, and National Billing Partners to offer comprehensive surgical revenue cycle solutions for ASCs, surgical clinics, surgical hospitals, and anesthesia groups. The company’s president and founder, Lisa Rock, emphasizes their dedication, passion, and commitment to clients, aiming to transform the healthcare industry through innovation and exceeding expectations. The rebranding aligns with nimble’s strategic plan of expanding offerings and providing connected solutions while valuing its people as the greatest asset.
Nap Gary Award Recipient
Kathy Bryant, former CEO of ASCA, has been honored with the Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC community. Presented by Dr. David Shapiro, the award recognizes Bryant’s exceptional leadership during her tenure from 1998 to 2010. Under her guidance, ASCA transformed into a prominent advocate and influential voice for surgery centers nationwide, offering regulatory policy expertise and ASC-specific education. Bryant’s initiatives included engaging ASCA members in educating policymakers, supporting ASC payment reform legislation, and promoting ASCs’ role in national healthcare priorities. The award commemorates Bryant’s significant contributions to the ASC community, following in the footsteps of ASC leader Nap Gary.
Hear from your peers what their favorite part of ASCA 2023 was:
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