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Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) continue to be the focus of healthcare industry leaders seeking to reduce overall care costs. The expansion of care delivery outside of the traditional hospital setting correlates with falling costs, improved outcomes, and increased rates of patient satisfaction. Because of their limited offerings and outpatient focus, ASCs can offer diagnostic and outpatient procedures at lower rates than hospitals and other inpatient centers — often with shorter wait times for patients.

According to Definitive Healthcare's commercial claims data, the most common surgical procedures at ASCs were largely diagnostic and focused on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Colonoscopies and  esophagogastroduodenoscopies appeared 5 times on our list, with a combined total of 2.1 million procedures. Cataracts-related surgeries also made several appearances on the list, with more than 1.2 million total claims across three types of procedures. 

In addition to cataracts and GI-related procedures, epidural injections are the next most commonly-performed procedures. This trend is consistent with the role of ASCs in healthcare delivery, which is to offer affordable and effective care that does not require overnight observation or other hospitalization.

Top 25 Surgical Procedures at Ambulatory Surgery Centers

  CPT/HCPCS Code Description Number of Procedures Average Charges/Procedure

1.

66984

Cataract surgery w/intraocular implant 1 stage

939,706

$2,869

2.

43239

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy w/biopsy

818,663

$1,645

3.

45380

Colonoscopy and biopsy

714,440

$2,417

4.

45385

Colonoscopy w/lesion removal

537,534

$1,711

5.

20610

Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection, major joint or bursa

479,423

$284

6.

45378

Diagnostic colonoscopy

444,726

$1,748

7.

36415

Routine venipuncture

309,851

$15

8.

67028

Injection eye drug

239,291

$525

9.

64483

Injection(s), anesthetic agent and/or steroid, transforaminal epidural, with imaging guidance

220,014

$1,927

10.

66821

Discission of secondary membranous cataract

199,618

$1,002

11.

64493

Injection to paravertebral facet joint lmbar/ sacral spine 1 lev

155,509

$2,017

12.

62323

Injection(s), of diagnostic or therapeutic sub­stance(s), lumbar/sacral spine

148,340

$1,590

13.

64494

Injection to paravertebral facet joint lmbar/ sacral spine 2 lev

119,804

$1,446

14.

64415

Nerve block injection brachial plexus

100,289

$1,251

15.

64636

Paravertebral facet joint nerve destruction

93,202

$2,013

16.

69436

Create eardrum opening

92,433

$2,812

17.

64484

Injection into foramen, epidural add-on

92,029

$1,469

18.

64635

Paravertebral facet joint nerve destruction, single facent joint

85,461

$2,721

19.

66982

Cataract surgery complex

74,897

$3,118

20.

29881

Knee arthroscopy/surgery

73,505

$5,021

21.

43235

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, diagnostic brush wash

72,863

$1,157

22.

20611

Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection, major joint or bursa, w/ ultrasound

70,056

$378

23.

20550

Injection into tendon sheath/ligament

69,345

$204

24.

17000

Destruction of benign or premalignant lesion

68,440

$120

25.

29826

Shoulder arthroscopy/surgery

67,527

$4,310

Fig 1. Data from Definitive Healthcare based on 2018 commercial claims data. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States. Data is updated monthly.