Study: ASCs Experience Fewer Post-Surgery Adverse Events Than HOPDs

June 22, 2018

The results of a recent independent study indicate that fewer adverse events occur following surgery in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) than in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs).

The study was published in the Journal of Health Economics.

Researchers conducted their study using research identifiable file Medicare claims files from 2007–2009. More specifically, they examined ASC and HOPD data based on the 10 most common procedures by 2007 ASC volume, which were broken into six procedure group categories. These procedures represented 68% of claims in the researcher’s data sample.

The procedure group categories were:

  • Cataract removal
  • Colonoscopy
  • Upper GI endoscopy (diagnostic)
  • Biopsy
  • Spine injection
  • Cystoscopy

Researchers further restricted their analysis to physicians who operated in both ASCs and HOPDs. The analysis then focused on two outcomes as measures of ASC quality: inpatient admissions and ER visits following an outpatient procedure.

Key takeaways from the study’s conclusion included the following:

  • Patients have better health outcomes in terms of inpatient admission and ER visits following an outpatient procedure in ASCs compared to HOPDs.
  • ASCs, on average, provide higher quality care for outpatient procedures than hospitals.
  • The positive impact of ASCs on patient outcomes accrues even to the highest risk group of patients.

Access the Journal of Health Economics study here.

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