Today’s edition of WorkCompRecap kicks off the week with a new report from WCRI’s recent study of Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Florida. The study covered 941 surgeons, a portion of which went on to become owners of surgery centers. WCRI compared the number of knee, shoulder, and wrist surgeries that each surgeon did before and after becoming an owner, and found that the average surgeon did 14-22 percent more surgery after becoming an ASC owner.
Contributing factors that WCRI cited included financial incentives arising from ownership, ASC recruiting of higher-volume surgeons to become owners, and gains in efficiency in the ASC model that allow surgeons to perform more surgeries than hospital outpatient departments. WCRI’s Executive Director Dr. Richard Victor pointed out the increase as an example of self-referral that has come to the attention of policymakers concerned about “spiraling” health care costs.
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