Healthcare Insights

Top 25 surgical procedures at ambulatory surgery centers

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.

What are the most common surgical procedures?

According to Definitive Healthcare's ClaimsMx data, the most common surgical procedures at ASCs are largely diagnostic and focused on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Colonoscopies and esophagogastroduodenoscopies appeared four times on our list, with a combined total of 5.7  million procedures. Cataract surgery and other related eye surgeries also made several appearances on the list, including claiming the top spot, with more than 3.5 million total claims across three types of procedures. 

In addition to cataract and GI-related procedures, epidural injections are the next most performed procedures. Rounding out the list are minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries.

The trends among the top surgical procedures reinforce the role of specialty surgery centers in healthcare delivery, which is to offer affordable and effective care that does not require overnight observation or other hospitalization.

25 most common surgical procedures at ambulatory surgery centers

Rank CPT/HCPCS Description # of Procedures Average Charges/Procedure
1.  66984 

Extracapsular cataract removal with insertion of intraocular lens prosthesis (1-stage procedure), manual or mechanical technique (e.g., irrigation and aspiration of phacoemulsification); without endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation 

2,824,839 $4,017  
2.  43239 

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, flexible, transoral; biopsy; single or multiple 

1,837,837  $2,471 
3. 45380 

Colonoscopy, flexible; with biopsy, single or multiple 

1,656,648  $2,692 
4. 45385 

Colonoscopy, flexible; with removal of tumor(s), polyp(s), or other lesion(s) by snare technique 

1,332,655  $2,534 
5. 45378 

Colonoscopy, flexible; diagnostic, including collection of specimen(s) by brushing or washing, when performed (separate procedure) 

940,054

$2,562  
6. 64483 

Injection(s), anesthetic agent(s) and/or steroid; transforaminal epidural, with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT), lumbar or sacral; single level 

730,034 

$2,636  
7. 20610 

Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection, major joint or bursa (e.g., shoulder, hip, knee, subacromial bursa); without ultrasound guidance 

484,564  $551  
8. 64493 

Injection(s), diagnostic or therapeutic agent, paravertebral facet (zygapophyseal) joint (or nerves innervating that joint) with image guidance (fluoroscopy or CT), lumbar or sacral; single level 

471,173  $2,668  
9. 66821 

Discission of secondary membranous cataract (opacified posterior lens capsule and/or anterior hyaloid); laser surgery (e.g., YAG laser) (1 or more stages) 

463,716 

$1,157 
10. 67028 

Intravitreal injection of a pharmacologic agent (separate procedure) 

402,223  $576 
11. 62323 

Injection(s), of diagnostic or therapeutic substance(s) (e.g., anesthetic, antispasmodic, opioid, steroid, other solution), not including neurolytic substances, including needle or catheter placement, interlaminar epidural or subarachnoid, lumbar or sacral (caudal); with imaging guidance (i.e., fluoroscopy or CT) 

399,329

$2,288 
12. 64494 

Injection(s), diagnostic or therapeutic agent, paravertebral facet (zygapophyseal) joint (or nerves innervating that joint) with image guidance (fluoroscopy or CT), lumbar or sacral, second level 

338,860 

$2,012 
13. 36415 

Collection of venous blood by venipuncture 

326,899  $14 
14. 64636 

Destruction by neurolytic agent, paravertebral facet joint nerve(s) with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT); lumbar or sacral, each additional facet joint 

280,022  $2,598 
15. 64635 

Destruction by neurolytic agent, paravertebral facet joint nerve(s) with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT); lumbar or sacral, single facet joint

274,572 

$3,826 
16. 64484 

Injection(s), anesthetic agent and/or steroid, transforaminal epidural, with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT); lumbar or sacral, each additional level 

241,981 

$1,997 

17. 64415 

Injection(s), anesthetic agent(s) and/or steroid; brachial plexus 

233,890 

$1,807 
18. 66982 

Extracapsular cataract removal with insertion of intraocular lens prosthesis (1-stage procedure), manual or mechanical technique (e.g., irrigation and aspiration or phacoemulsification), complex, requiring devices or techniques not generally used in routine cataract surgery (e.g., iris expansion device, suture support for intraocular lens, or primary posterior capsulorrhexis) or performed on patients in the amblyogenic developmental stage; without endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation 

224,566 

 

$4,088 

 

19. 62321 

Injection(s), of diagnostic or therapeutic substance(s) (e.g., anesthetic, antispasmodic, opioid, steroid, other solution), not including neurolytic substances, including needle or catheter placement, interlaminar epidural or subarachnoid, cervical or thoracic; with imaging guidance (i.e., fluoroscopy or CT) 

213,539 

$2,363

20. 29881 

Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial OR lateral, including any meniscal shaving) including debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty), same or separate compartment(s), when performed 

209,926  $7,613 
21. 64721 

Neuroplasty and/or transposition; median nerve at carpal tunnel 

203,314  $4,669 
22. 29826 

Arthroscopy shoulder, surgical decompression of subacromial space with partial acromioplasty, with procedure 

180,255 

$7,456 
23. 64490 

Injection(s), diagnostic or therapeutic agent, paravertebral facet (zygapophyseal) joint (or nerves innervating that joint) with image guidance (fluoroscopy or CT), cervical or thoracic; single level

178,646 

$2,721 

24. 26055 

Tendon sheath incision (e.g., for trigger finger) 

169,771  $4,325 
25. 29827 

Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; with rotator cuff repair 

165,556 

$11,014 

Fig 1. Data from Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx product for January – November 2021. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and updated monthly. Data is accurate as of January 4, 2022.

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