PA Hospitals Call on Super Committee to Examine ASCs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 3, 2011

In addition, Strazzella says Pennsylvania's acute care hospitals have seen their state Medicaid reimbursements cut by 4% in fiscal year 2011-12.

However, Pam Erdel, president of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association, says HAP is making an apples-to-oranges comparison on operating margins because ASCs and hospitals use different calculations. "For ASCs, the salaries paid to physician-owners are not counted as overhead. In the hospital that is all taken out before they report their operating margins. It would be similar to removing all the staff salaries from the operating costs of a hospital before calculating their margins," she says.

Erdel says two-thirds of ASCs nationwide provide care at reduced rates for patients who are underinsured or not uninsured. "We feel bad for hospitals in that they are having reduced rates, but we already started out with less. We get paid on average 56% of the rate that the hospital gets paid for doing the same procedure, because Medicare set it up that way," she says.

Erdel says it's ironic that HAP would target ASCs for criticism when "the most lucrative ASCs are owned by hospitals," and those hospitals belong to HAP. "I would love to bridge that relationship with the HAP because we have a lot to offer each other," she says.



John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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