As medical technology advances and guidelines for routine inpatient surgeries are relaxed, physicians are able to perform a greater number of procedures in the outpatient care setting. This is generally beneficial for patients, as procedural costs at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) are lower on average than at a hospital or other inpatient facility.
While most hospitals offer outpatient surgery options, ASCs have been praised as a superior choice for certain procedures. This preference is largely due to facility efficiencies and greater regulatory controls for reimbursements under the outpatient prospective payment system.
Definitive Healthcare tracks nearly 3,000 procedure types performed at over 9,000 ASCs. The following lists rank the top 25 procedures performed at surgery centers by procedure volume as well as by total charges.
What is the most commonly performed procedure at an ASC?
In 2018, CPT code 66984—extracapsular cataract removal—was the most performed procedure at ambulatory surgery centers, with over 1.2 million total procedures reported. Botox injections and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) were the second and third most performed procedures, with 894,793 and 527,817 total procedures reported, respectively.
Many of the most common surgery center procedures are diagnostic procedures of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, such as colonoscopies and esophagogastroduodenoscopies. These procedure types appeared 8 times on this list, with a combined total of over 1.8 million total procedures in 2018. Cataract-related surgeries also topped this list, with more than 1.6 million procedures reported in 2018.
In addition to cataract 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.
The following list details the top 25 procedures performed at ASCs by total charges. Extracapsular cataract removal, CPT code 66984, had the highest total charges, followed by the insertion or replacement of spinal neurostimulator pulse generator, CPT code 63685, with $259.3 million in total charges.