Three Financial Success Strategies for your ASC

The financial success of any Ambulatory Surgery Center depends first and foremost on providing excellent healthcare at a reasonable price, but that's an oversimplification. Some ASCs maintain a healthy profit margin while others continually struggle to maintain a solid financial status despite offering similar services with similar results. Often, the difference falls with how things are handled outside the realm of care itself. It's more about how payments are addressed, the status of their managed care contracts, or how well they market themselves to patients. 


Easy Billing and Payment Options

Studies have shown that more than 35% of adults don’t have a way to handle unexpected medical expenses as low as $100. To combat this, use up-front pricing models with as much transparency as possible. Providing accurate estimates and arranging payments before surgical procedures ensures they have the opportunity to handle the payments with less sticker shock while giving your ASC additional cash flow earlier in the patient care cycle. It's much easier to get the payment now rather than trying to track it down after the fact. This also means less time and money wasted trying to collect debts.

Streamlining the invoicing procedure and putting various payment options in place also helps improve the financial success of your ASC. Payment software that allows for online payment appeals to today's consumers, who appreciate the convenience of paying with just a few clicks of the mouse. Systems that incorporate easy ways to verify health insurance coverage and pre-authorize patients also contribute to a better financial return. Less time is spent on these crucial tasks while their accuracy increases.


Negotiate Better Managed Care Contracts

While it seems managed care contracts are carved in stone, there is always room to negotiate. If it's been a few years since you've reviewed and negotiated your ongoing agreements, it's time to ask for a meeting to go over your current payment contracts. During these discussions, be sure you're armed with information that validates your request for a re-evaluation.

Topics that should be addressed include comparable market rates at other ASCs in your area, particularly if you are receiving less for similar procedures. Remember to lay out the costs of each procedure, the quality of your surgeons and staff, the latest technologies you’ve brought to your ASC, and the high satisfaction rate you have with patients. Also, consider making small concessions in exchange for better payouts on frequently performed procedures.


Patient Outreach

This is perhaps one of the most important ways to ensure financial success, but many ASCs don’t address the high correlation between patient outreach and financial returns. It’s simple – the more educated your patients and potential patients are about your ASC facility, the more likely they will be to choose your facility both now and in the future. Higher patient volume leads to financial success.

If an individual calls your ASC with questions about a procedure they're considering, does your front-end staff have the knowledge to answer those questions? Don't make the mistake of thinking your receptionists and schedulers don't need to know at least the basics of what your ASC can offer. In many situations, they are the only people who will talk to a potential patient; make sure they can sell the many advantages of using your ASC.

Educational materials about various procedures and what patients should expect when using your ASC will ease their fears. Patients typically choose the facility they feel has given the most helpful information and guidance. It pays to have brochures, online information, fact sheets, and short videos for patients to review before choosing an ASC and before and after their procedures.

No matter how successful your ASC is, there are ways to improve your financial success using tools such as ASC software for management, billing, and patient engagement.

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