Sg2 Annual Report Projects Double-Digit ASC Growth

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Sg2 Annual Report Projects Double-Digit ASC Growth

Expansion expected in nearly all major specialties

ASCs will see 15 percent and 25 percent growth in the next 5 and 10 years, respectively, according to Sg2’s 2022 Impact of Change Forecast Highlights.

“Our baseline year shifted from 2019 in last year’s forecast to 2022 in this year’s forecast because we did not want this year’s forecast to start in the peak of the pandemic where 2020 and 2021 volumes were lower than usual,” says Tori Richie, consulting director of intelligence at Sg2. “In this year’s forecast, we project a 16 percent increase in outpatient demand between 2022 and 2032, with 42 million outpatient volumes occurring in the ASC in 2022. Population growth contributes most to this ASC volume growth.”

Vizient, Inc. released its annual Impact of Change Forecast from its subsidiary Sg2 on June 7.

“Growth is expected across nearly every major ASC specialty: gastroenterology, ophthalmology, pain management and orthopedics are the highest volume and will see double-digit percent ASC growth in the next 10 years,” Richie says. “Growth drivers include payer pressure and expanded site of care restrictions, bundled payments, private equity activity, entrepreneurial physician groups and increased competition for profitable surgical cases.”

That said, Richie cautions, “A health system’s ASC growth is not guaranteed and requires a viable equity/ownership model between the health system, physicians and/or management company. Markets will vary in their adoption of ambulatory surgery, and the pace is often determined by a combination of the following factors: Regulatory environment, physician alignment, payer pressure, competitive dynamics, and market growth.”

The Impact of Change forecast also notes the following on outpatient and inpatient surgery.

  • In 2021, outpatient activity remained below 2019 levels, though outpatient surgery fully recovered in the second half of the year. Outpatient volumes are projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and then grow 9 percent over the next 5 years, which is 2 percentage points above population estimated growth; and 16 percent over the next 10 years, which is 3 percentage points above population estimated growth. The aging population, increased survivorship and rise in chronic disease are the main drivers of growth.
  • The shuffle of surgical volumes across ambulatory sites will continue throughout the decade, with surgeries projected to grow 18 percent at both hospital outpatient departments and physician offices. Increased payer scrutiny, cost saving measures, hospital-based capacity and resource constraints, combined with the rise in aging and chronic disease populations are driving this increased demand in outpatient surgeries.
  • Home care is expected to gain traction over the next five years, including home evaluation and management visits at 19 percent growth, home hospice at 13 percent and home physical and occupational therapy at 10 percent.
  • Despite reversion to in-person visits in 2021, virtual visits will grow with 27 percent of evaluation and management visits occurring virtually in 10 years.
  • Hospitals will experience greater strain due to a rise in patient acuity over the next decade that will outpace inpatient volume and impact patient length of stay, thanks in part to COVID-19 and its lingering effects. As pandemic-era protocols decline, infectious disease will grow 3 percent next year before declining over the decade.

Read the report.