SCOTT GIBSON: Ambulatory surgery centers' key role
August 21, 2013 11:00 AM

Technological and medical breakthroughs are transforming what it means to have surgery in America. Procedures that were once lengthy and complex requiring a hospital stay are now routinely performed as safe, outpatient procedures.

Just 30 years ago, nearly all surgery was done in hospitals. Patients typically spent several days in the hospital and several weeks in recovery, sidelined from work and family.

Now, 80 percent of all surgeries are outpatient and one out of every five takes place in medical facilities called ambulatory surgery centers, or ASCs.

For many patients, ASCs offer a better way to have outpatient surgery. These physician-driven facilities put the patient, not the institution, at the center of the care.

Over the last three decades, ASCs have amassed high quality and safety track records.

ASCs encourage high patient satisfaction at a time when health consumers are at odds with most of America’s health care system. And ASCs are cost-effective, offering our over-stressed system a way to control costs, both for patients and the payers of services, including the government.

That’s why Indiana Ambulatory Surgical Associates joined in recognizing National ASC Day on Thursday. This effort served to focus attention on raising awareness as to why more patients and doctors are choosing these medical centers for their health care needs.

This national awareness day also offered a chance for citizens to think more about legislation affecting patient access to health care, especially with health care reform being a significant focus of the current national agenda and budget. Now is the time to ensure that ASCs continue to be here for our community when we need them.

For more information about ambulatory surgery centers, please visit www.ascassociation.org, or call (724) 465-1922.

Scott Gibson

executive director,

Indiana Ambulatory Surgical Associates

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