Companies in this industry provide surgical and emergency care services for ambulatory patients in standalone facilities that are outfitted with operating and recovery rooms; they do not offer overnight or long-term hospital care or care for minor ailments. Major US companies include Envision Healthcare (formerly AmSurg), Surgical Care Affiliates, and Surgery Partners, as well as the outpatient surgical operations of major hospital chains such as Tenet Healthcare and HCA.
Demand is linked to the number of people receiving medical care and the cost of hospital-based care. The profitability of individual centers depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Companies that operate multiple locations may enjoy some economies of scale in purchasing, administration, and marketing. Smaller companies can compete by providing superior or niche services. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate about 35% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Outpatient surgical centers, otherwise known as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), are used by doctors to perform a variety of surgical procedures that don't require patients to stay overnight in a hospital. Typical procedures and specialties include ophthalmology (30% of all surgeries each year); orthopedics (15%); gastroenterology (14%); pain management, including spinal injections (10%); and plastic surgery (8%), according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services analyzed by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. Approximately 65% of ASCs perform procedures in a single specialty; 35% perform procedures in more than one specialty.