Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is one such ASC. "We have been approached many times by organizations that want to affiliate or align with us," says Becky Ziegler-Otis, CASC, administrator of the ASC. "We face a lot of pressure to enter into a partnership but are trying fiercely to remain independent." The ASC has been independent since it opened in 2006.
G. Keith Smith, MD, anesthesiologist and founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, opened his surgery center in 1997 and it also has always been independent. "We started an ASC because we found our ability to control how we practiced and the quality of the care our patients received was negatively affected when we did not have full control over all aspects of care delivery," he says. "We believe that if we now sold even a part of the ASC, we would be relinquishing some degree of control without bringing in anything we need."
Control is one of the principal reasons Ziegler-Otis says her ASC's physicians strive to maintain autonomy. "They value how much input they have into the day-to-day operations. They decide how they want to spend their money. They help select staff and surgical supplies. They choose which implant vendors we work with. This control makes them happy."