Should I get the procedure done at the Hospital/ASC or at the outpatient clinic?
In this evolving healthcare market, many patients are opting to have procedures done at outpatient clinics over hospital or ASC settings. This day and age, over 95% of interventional pain management procedures can be done in the office setting, with or without anesthesia, in a controlled safe efficient manner similar to the ASC or hospital. Patient safety is always the utmost priority, but there are a few advantages of getting the procedure done in the clinic over the hospital/ASC setting:
Cost- There used to be a big different with hospitals and ASC’s pocketing a large “facility” fee for procedures done in the hospital or ASC. As insurance companies started to realize that outpatient clinics were doing the same procedures in a safe manner without the additional “facility” fees, this price differential has slowly narrowed and will continue to narrow. Hospitals and ASC’s have extra fees that patients and insurance companies are liable for, and numbers have shown that a procedure done in the office often times is about 35% cheaper for the patients and insurance carriers than procedures done in the hospital or ASC. Given the same safety profile, the next variable everyone looks at is cost, which favors the outpatient clinic at all levels.
Efficiency- Many times procedures can take upwards of a few hours in the hospital or ASC setting. There is registration, the waiting period, as well as the intake and recovery period that many times is longer than an outpatient clinic procedure. Most patients will be in/out of an outpatient clinic after a procedure in under 30 minutes, while this time is often doubled or tripled in the hospital/ASC setting. Everyone values time, and it has been seen that the outpatient clinic is much more efficient than the ASC/hospital setting.
Although the two arguments above are proponents of the outpatient clinic setting, please keep in mind that certain procedures need to be done in the hospital or ASC setting. Your physician ultimately will do what is best for you from a health perspective, and should never risk your safety under any circumstance. That being said, the above facts are things to consider when deciding on certain procedures to be done.