WASHINGTON, DC, May 11, 2012 — The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) today expressed concern with a new report issued by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The report, “Why Surgeon Owners of Ambulatory Surgical Centers Do More Surgery than Non-Owners,” purports to examine the relationship between physician ownership and surgical volume. ASCA, however, calls the report misleading and sensational due to the faulty assumptions and unsubstantiated conclusions the authors make.
“Although the authors claim to compare the number of surgeries done by ASC owners to non-owners,” says ASCA President David Shapiro, MD, “in reality, the nearly 10-year-old data the researchers used did not reveal whether a physician was actually an owner or not. As the researchers themselves acknowledge, they were forced to rely on imperfect proxies instead. The proxies they used are unsupportable and unsound.”
“There is nothing to suggest that any of the procedures performed were medically unnecessary, and the report gives short shrift to the many reasons surgeons could elect to treat more patients in a particular setting,” adds Shapiro. “A more valid conclusion based on the actual data at hand is that surgeons operating in a more efficient setting are able to bring additional cases into that setting to provide critical care to a higher number of patients in need.”