What Your Ambulatory Surgery Center Should Do To Get Ready for 2020


Two thousand twenty.

Somewhat of a blah sounding year don’t you think? Nothing like 2001 or 2020 (excited to see that year!) but we are going to be stuck with it for a year so we might as well make it interesting! Let’s do this!

  1. Start running your facility based upon “Metrics” (A method of measuring something or the results obtained from this). Far too often, we keep doing the same thing and keep getting the same results (this is the definition of “Insanity” by the way) and are surprised by the results. Almost all of the software packages hospitals and ASCs use have “metrics” you can actually use to grade yourself. Similar, by the way, to benchmarks – but more scientific sounding. You will sound smarter if you tell your surgeons you are looking at their “Metrics.” Try it.
  2. Do something completely different in this boring sounding year. Like start serving staff lunch one day a week (or take it away if you currently do it). 
  3. Start planning your Christmas party now – with 12 months of planning it will be incredible!
  4. Let anesthesia know the “hoarding” must stop. Then just laugh – as if you could change that!
  5. Pay more attention to your sterile processing department. It needs it – believe me! Listen to what the staff has to say – you really will learn something you didn’t know or understand.
  6. Start preparing for your next CMS or State survey. Chance is you are already behind.
  7. Make it a point to go to a National conference in this boring of most boring years. Take as much staff as you can and let loose. Going to the lectures at these conferences is okay, but the real fun is getting all the give away toys and gadgets the vendors have on their tables to lure you in.

  8. Check out the new 2020 (yawn) Medicare ASC and Hospital facility fee reimbursement rates. Really interesting stuff that will definitely effect (or affect – which ever is correct) your facility.
  9. You should also check out the physician reimbursement changes in 2020. It really is depressing for them and will make you understand a little better why they are in a foul mood most of the time.
  10. Facebook is out and blasé’ - Set up an Instagram account instead. It is fun and a great way to share your facility – both seriously and fun.
  11. Post your prices on your web site. It can be enlightening (unless you are really really expensive – then, not a good idea.)
  12. Take an adult education course at a local community college. They are cheap and a great diversification from the day to day of surgery.

Do something out of character this year – it will be fun in an otherwise potentially boring year!

Earnhart & Associates is a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of outpatient surgery development and management. Earnhart & Associates can be reached at their mailing address at 5114 Balcones Woods Drive, Suite 307-203, Austin, TX 78759.

Stephen Earnhart

Written by Stephen Earnhart