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‘When we got into this game, it was all just ophthalmology’: The complications of ASC billing

Patty Newitt – Wednesday, June 7th, 2023


Philip Blair, CEO of Surgery Center Services of America, spoke with Becker’s about his ASC companies’ biggest growth targets and why cardiology is so important for ASCs.

Editor’s note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Philip Blair: I would also say ASC management and billing is becoming a big issue. When when we got into this game, it was just all ophthalmology. That’s kind of how we cut our teeth in the consulting world in the ’80s and ’90s. Over time, of course, more procedures have become minimally invasive. They’re getting approved to be done in surgery center settings. Twenty years ago doing total joints at an ASC was a crazy idea because of recovery and all that, and now they’re doing total joints, and patients are up and doing physical therapy immediately.

Heart and stethoscope

In the next five years, we’re focused on cardiology, the total joints, orthopedics, all these big-ticket, specialty surgery centers. The billing and management side has gotten complicated because now we’re getting into very complex billing. It’s not like back when there were just ophthalmologists, where you have like five codes, and you’re just doing some simple billing. But when you get into carve outs and implants, and you have multiple CPT codes that go for each procedure, it can get really complex. We’ve got a big emphasis on EMR companies now that are offering simpler solutions for ASCs.


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Note: The formatting of this article was edited slightly for visual appeal.