Consumer Reports Provides Guidance on Selecting an ASC

June 12, 2017

Consumer Reports recently published a detailed reported on surgery centers covering a wide range of topics, including the advantages of outpatient surgery and how to select the right ASC for a procedure.

The column is titled “Get the Best Care at an Ambulatory Surgery Center.” Here are some of its key takeaways:

1. ASCs are expanding their scope of services. They are increasingly taking on more complex procedures, such as total joint replacement and spine surgery, while capturing more volume of complicated procedures such as hysterectomies.

2. Outpatient surgery offers numerous advantages. These include shorter stays, typically lower costs for patients, and lower rates of complications such as urinary tract infections and blood clots.

3. ASCs are great settings for many people. But not all. Consumers in good health are the strongest candidates for surgery in an ASC. If consumers are older and/or have health conditions and comorbidities (e.g., obesity, hypertension, history of heart attack or stroke), they are likely at increased risk of complications. In such cases, it is advisable for consumers to speak with their doctor to help determine the most appropriate setting.

4. Research is wise. Before consumers settle on a location for their outpatient surgical procedure, they should perform due diligence on the site and procedure. Consumer Reports recommends researching the following:

– Complication rates associated with the procedure and performing surgeon
– Certification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
– Surgeon experience performing the procedure
– Type of anesthesia and monitoring process
– Emergency and transfer plan

5. Prepare for recovery. To help reduce the risk of complications following their procedure, consumers should leave the facility only when feeling well, make sure to receive written discharge instructions, pre-arrange home support, and share any medical concerns during the follow-up call.

Access the Consumer Reports column here.

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