ASCA Survey Gives Insight into ASC Staffing

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ASCA Survey Gives Insight into ASC Staffing

Single- and multispecialty centers report different trends

In June, ASCA conducted its eighth 60-Second Survey and asked questions about staff hourly rates, use of contracted personnel and staff turnover in the last year. The survey received 314 responses, one of the highest participation rates since the series began. Responses came from ASCs in 47 states and a facility in the US Virgin Islands. Roughly 40 percent of survey respondents work in a single-specialty ASC.

ASCA introduced the 60-Second Survey, a bimonthly survey series, in March 2021. As the name suggests, each survey takes 60 seconds or less to complete and asks fewer than 10 questions on a current topic. The topic changes survey to survey and each aims to take the pulse of the ASC community to help ASCA better serve its members and the industry at large.

Staff Turnover

Overall, 51 percent of respondents said that their ASC’s average staff turnover in the last year was 5 percent or less. This is an encouraging sign, as ASCA’s December 2021 60-Second Survey found that 77 percent of respondents were experiencing nursing or staffing shortages. Single-specialty ASCs seem to have fared slightly better than multispecialty ASCs, with 58 percent of single-specialty facilities reporting less than 5 percent turnover compared to just 45 percent of multispecialty respondents. Twenty-two percent of multispecialty ASCs reported greater than 15 percent staff turnover, compared to just 13 percent of single-specialty ASCs. Similarly, rural facilities fared slightly better than urban ASCs: 59 percent of rural ASCs reported 5 percent turnover or less, compared to 47 percent of urban ASCs.

Increases in Average Hourly Rates

Survey respondents indicated an increase in average hourly rates for clinical personnel between 2021 and 2022, with 63 percent increasing average hourly rates by 5 percent or less. Again, single-specialty facilities appear to have fared slightly better than multispecialty facilities, reporting overall slightly lower increases to hourly rates. There was no meaningful difference in hourly rate increases between urban and rural facilities. Only 1.3 percent of survey respondents reported increasing hourly rates by greater than 20 percent.

Use of Contracted Personnel

Just 26 percent of survey respondents said that their facility uses contracted personnel. Multispecialty ASCs were slightly more likely to use contracted personnel, with 30 percent of respondents in multispecialty facilities asserting use of contracted staff compared to 22 percent of single-specialty respondents. Unsurprisingly, facilities that attested to greater staff turnover in the last year were more likely to use contracted personnel, with 34 percent of facilities that experienced 10 percent or greater staff turnover indicating use of contracted personnel. Among survey respondents who said their facility does use contracted personnel, 68 percent said they use PRN staff rather than long-term contracts.

Average Hourly Rate by Position

The survey asked respondents for their facility’s average hourly rate paid for six full-time personnel positions: clinical director, operating room RN, preop/postop RN, surgical technician, sterile processing department staff and front desk receptionist. Respondents were asked to select an hourly rate range paid to each position. Except for clinical director, every role had at least 55 percent of respondents selecting a certain range, showing consensus on hourly rates for the various roles. The survey also asked about hourly PRN rates, which did not differ significantly from rates paid to full-time personnel.

ASCA's Salary & Benefits Survey

Every other year, ASCA conducts a Salary & Benefits Survey that collects national, regional and state data on more than 20 ASC positions. The survey allows ASCs to compare their compensation packages to similar ASCs, negotiate a raise or determine salary and benefits for a new position. ASCs can benchmark their information with other ASCs from the same region, with a similar number of employees, within the same specialty and with a similar number of patient encounters. ASCs that complete at least 40 percent of the survey receive results for free. All ASCs can purchase those reports.

Write Alex Taira with questions about the 60-Second Survey or to propose topics for future surveys.