Collaborative Ambulatory Surgery Center Joint Ventures

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Healthcare is changing rapidly; reform efforts, a pivot to population health management solutions and changing consumer behavior driven by high deductible health plans are rewriting the rules of the healthcare economy. Thriving in this new environment requires nimble health systems to increase collaboration with the right strategic partners.

As the healthcare system increasingly trends towards an outpatient delivery model and payments shift to reward value, ambulatory surgery access points are a key component of an innovative health system’s strategy. In order to succeed in the future, health systems must optimize hospital usage through the expansion of outpatient procedures performed in surgery centers, providing a high-quality patient experience in an environment that demands efficiency and cost management. With hospital inpatient revenue decreasing and managerial efforts concentrated in areas other than the ambulatory surgery space, AMSURG can provide the critical support and knowledge required to be successful.

AMSURG currently operates 13 joint ventures and manages more than 260 surgery centers across 35 states and the District of Columbia, and the results speak for themselves. AMSURG’s ASC joint venture with RWJBarnabas highlights what a successful joint venture can accomplish:

“Through the JV, RWJBarnabas Health reaps the benefits of a successful and growing surgery center network without having to build our own ASC infrastructure. We rely on AMSURG to help us identify and explore future opportunities, as well as oversee the daily operations of the surgery centers. AMSURG’s management expertise coupled with RWJBH’s local presence and relationships in the market allow our joint venture to thrive.” – Matthew Fulton, Senior Vice President Business Development at RWJBarnabas Health

Aligning the goals of a hospital or health system and AMSURG increases the surgery center’s role in providing value to patients, payors, referring physicians and the overall healthcare market. This consensus management model has the center’s operating board comprised of equal representation by the physician partners and the health system/AMSURG. The joint venture is structured so the hospital or health system holds 51 percent ownership, and physicians possess the remaining 49 percent stake in the partnership.

Our health system joint venture partners tell us they have reaped the following benefits from the partnership:

  • Increased profit margins in the rapidly growing ambulatory surgery center business.
  • Built a large surgery center network by purchasing existing surgery centers with minimal capital investment. AMSURG provides the resources to grow the network through acquisitions of existing centers.
  • Invested minimal costs in personnel and overhead. AMSURG manages the day-to-day operations of the center, and the hospital partner is only responsible for managed care contracting.
  • Partnered with local physicians who perform surgery at the centers, without incurring the expense associated with directly employing those physicians.

Joint Venture Physician Partner Benefits

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Physicians also gain significant advantages through an AMSURG joint venture partnership.

  • Retain control of the center with consensus management, avoiding the ‘hassle factor’ of many hospital-owned ambulatory surgery centers.
  • Own a highly profitable ASC.
  • Increase volume potential as a result of access to hospital employees and family members. Physicians can also obtain referrals from other physicians associated with the health system.
  • Strengthen ability to recruit new physicians, due to the strength of the ASC.
  • Reduce management fees that won’t sap ASC profitability.

AMSURG’s expertise in ambulatory surgery center management and the development of regional outpatient surgery strategies, as well as our access to capital, allows health systems to devote focus and resources to their core business. Our team approach ensures our health system joint venture partners have access to expert and strategic surgery center management and support services. A strong, profitable partnership will capitalize on the expected growth in outpatient surgery.

Interested in learning more about collaborative ASC joint venture partnerships? Contact us by email or at 877.741.0085.