Strategies For a Turnaround 2

Five Ways Florida Surgery Center Made Itself Profitable

ASD Managements’ Surgical Center for Excellence in Panama City, Florida went from losing as much as $40,000 a week in 2008 to showing better than benchmark profits in 2009. The two-OR center hosts orthopedics, ENT, dental, podiatry and pain management. Sue Glendon, administrator of the nine-partner center, identifies five key ways it became profitable.

by Leigh Page

1. Amped up efficiency. The center began to flip-flop ORs. If a surgeon has cases throughout the day, staff sets up one room while he is finishing a case next door. This is especially helpful for orthopedic cases, which take longer to set up.

2. No holds barred on new technology. When the center introduced Olympus equipment for shoulder and knee surgery, it didn’t just buy one piece. It bought one Olympus device for each room. This gives us more flexibility in scheduling, Ms. Glendon says.

3. Well calibrated staffing. Ms. Glendon watches staffing levels very carefully so as to avoid overstaffing or paying overtime. For example, when the ASC has a 14-hour day, she brings in per diem staff and avoids overtime.

4. Improved collections. The ASC brought billing and collections in-house in 2009. “While outsourced billing is impressive, we have found that having our own dedicated billing person is a great advantage,” Ms. Glendon says. To help the center’s one in-house billing person, other business office staff members are cross-trained in billing.

5. Lean inventory. The center has cut back on inventory. This is done by placing frequent orders and using a vendor who delivers several times a week.

© 2010 Becker’s ASC Review.

Reprinted with permission from Becker’s ASC Review.