How CV ASCs Help Health Systems Recruit & Retain Physicians

By Austin Kroschel

Developing a cardiovascular ambulatory surgery center can help your health system recruit, retain, and engage cardiovascular specialists amid worsening physician shortages. Current and projected shortfalls affect most specialties, and they hit CV particularly hard. Our aging population requires more cardiovascular care just as the surgeons qualified to treat CV patients are retiring from practice.

You can boost CV surgeon recruitment and retention at your health system by offering ASC settings, as well as hospital outpatient department (HOPD) settings, for cardiovascular procedures.

Here are just a few reasons why launching a CV ASC can empowers your health system to keep current alignments with physicians and forge new alignments with physicians you haven’t worked with previously.

ASCs are good investments for physician entrepreneurs.

Payers are cutting professional fees for physicians, even as they raise facility fees. That means that cardiovascular surgeons are keener than ever to invest in an ASC. If the ASC is financially successful, surgeons benefit financially as well.

Opening an ASC with physician partners can retain physicians who are already working in your hospital andattract talented physicians who have not worked with your health system previously.

Health systems have bargaining power with payers, which boosts the odds that a CV ASC will succeed financially for all partners.

Cardiology is the lion’s share of most hospital revenue streams, which means that health systems have the talent and influence to negotiate favorable ASC reimbursement rates with payers. Sadly, physicians don’t have as much pull with payers, and often end up negotiating rates with payers that are only 175 percent of Medicare rate, max. In contrast, health systems routinely negotiate outpatient cardiovascular procedure reimbursements at  225-250 percent.

An ASC that has a health system as one of its partners carries a bigger stick with payers than an ASC with only physician partners. As a result, the health system just might be able to recruit physicians who aren’t currently working in its HOPD to be physician partners in an ASC, which is a win-win for all involved. 

CV surgeons crave the autonomy and control that ASCs provide for them and their patients.

In ASC settings, the surgeons performing the work are key investors, which gives them more control over how they want to proceed with the case, when they will schedule the procedure, and what tools they will use.

CV-focused, clinically driven leadership results in better outcomes and much higher patient satisfaction. If you go into the breakroom at a good cardiovascular ASC, you’ll see bulletin boards brimming with thank-you cards. Patients appreciate not only the excellent outcomes but also the more intimate setting, the minimal waiting times, the focused care, and the added convenience.

Entering into an ASC partnership with a health system means that physicians don’t have to compete with the health system.

Everyone benefits from alignment, especially CV ASC patients.

The Compass team has partnered with both health system and independent CV providers to collectively develop, build, and manage more than 30 cardiovascular ASCs. If you want to explore how a partnership might help your health system recruit, retain, and engage cardiovascular surgeons, please contact us to arrange a time to talk. 

Our mission is to create strong partnerships that improve the lives of patients and providers.

Compass Surgical Partners