The Continuing Migration of Cardiovascular Care

Posted Jul 10, 2023 under:

A slow shift

Unlike other specialties, cardiovascular care has taken a slower approach to migrating from hospital outpatient departments to ambulatory surgery centers. What are the advantages of moving your procedures to an ASC? Learn more below.

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In the healthcare sector, there has been a significant shift in the migration of cardiovascular (CV) care  from hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) to ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). This transition has garnered considerable attention due to the growing recognition of its potential benefits for cardiovascular physicians, their staff, and, most importantly, the patients. While several medical specialties have already embraced ASCs, the approach to CV care migration has been cautious. This article explores the reasons behind this slower approach and examines the safety, cost-effectiveness, and patient-centric strategies associated with ASCs. Additionally, it highlights the role of SCA Health as a dedicated partner in CV care, aiming to optimize patient experiences and outcomes.

Slow Approach to CV Care Migration

Legal Challenges

The challenges associated with CV care have delayed the progress of its transition toward ASCs, resulting in a slower adoption rate. This cautious approach is influenced by various factors, including legal restrictions. In some states, including California, certain CV procedures that are already performed in other states are prohibited or limited in ASCs.

However, proponents like Cardiologist Kyle Michaelis and Alex Bolanos, Vice Presidents of Corporate Development at United Surgical Partners International, advocate for updating the laws to align with the proven safety and advancements of CV procedures. They argue that such updates will facilitate and promote the migration of CV care to ASCs.

The Predominance of Employed Cardiologists

The percentage of U.S. physicians employed by hospitals or corporate entities has experienced a significant increase, reaching 73.9% in January 2022 compared to 62.2% in January 2019, according to recent data from Avalere. The pressures of the pandemic have prompted many independent physicians to sell their practices to hospitals, health insurers, or other corporate organizations. In contrast, only 33% of orthopedic practices are owned by hospitals or health systems, underscoring the growing dominance of these entities in the healthcare field.

Within this context, employed cardiologists often face limitations in engaging in outside clinical ventures, including ASCs, without employer permission. Such restrictions limit their ability to explore alternative practice models and offer more services outside of hospital settings.

Safety and Cost-effectiveness of ASCs

ASCs have emerged as safe, cost-effective, and patient-centered alternatives to HOPDs for various cardiac procedures. These centers offer a controlled environment specifically designed for low-risk cardiovascular interventions. Through minimal sedation, implementation of minimally invasive techniques, and shorter procedure times, ASCs enhance patient safety and contribute to a lower risk profile while maintaining cost efficiencies. Additionally, ASCs provide improved patient accessibility, convenience, and higher satisfaction rates compared to the challenges associated with navigating extensive hospital facilities. ASCs are typically located closer to communities, reducing travel time and increasing patient convenience.

Enhancing Patient Experience through Value-Based Care

Value-based care focuses on providing high-quality care that optimizes patient outcomes while minimizing costs. It emphasizes a patient-focused approach and the importance of delivering efficient, effective and safe care. One crucial aspect driving the migration of CV care to ASCs is the emphasis on enhancing the overall quality of the care. To achieve this, ASCs aims to provide patient satisfaction and patient positive experience. ASCs prioritize research and development to employ comprehensive strategies that continually improve the entire patient journey.

These strategies include streamlining the pre-surgery process, delivering clear instructions, minimizing patient anxiety on the day of surgery, involving patients’ families, ensuring a smooth post-surgical experience, and facilitating a seamless and timely discharge. By prioritizing value-based care, ASCs aim to promote a greater sense of personalized care while fostering positive patient outcomes and a positive overall experience.

SCA Health: A Dedicated Partner in Cardiovascular Care

SCA Health stands as a committed ally to CV physicians during the ongoing healthcare transformation. We have evolved to meet the specific needs of physician specialists, prioritizing practice independence and long-term growth. With a vast network of over 330 ASCs throughout the United States, we understand the importance of cardiovascular procedures in the ASC setting. By providing comprehensive support, we facilitate a seamless transition, optimize patient care, and enhance overall outcomes. Through collaborative efforts and a strong dedication to value-based care, SCA Health strives[GU4]  to establish ASCs as the preferred choice for cardiovascular care as well as other specialties.

ASCs offer controlled environments, improved convenience, and enhanced patient satisfaction. With SCA Health’s dedicated partnership, cardiovascular physicians can navigate this transformative shift with confidence, ensuring seamless transitions, optimized care, and positive outcomes. By embracing patient-centric approaches, ASCs are poised to become the preferred destination for comprehensive cardiovascular care.


Henretty and He, (2022) Trends in Orthopedic Surgeon Practice Consolidation From 2008 to 2019

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