A study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute concluded that surgeons who become the owners of ambulatory surgical centers are more likely to perform surgeries on patients than non-owners. Statistics showing that owners of surgical centers perform between 14 to 22 percent more surgical operations than surgeons that are not owners was cited in the May 15, 2012 article in Fierce Healthcare, "Surgeons do more procedures when they take a cut of the profit," by Karen Cheung.
Additional statistics cited from other sources in the article included orthopedic surgeon owners performing 52 to 111 percent more surgeries than non owners and carpal tunnel surgeries were performed 54 to 129 percent more by surgeons who owned surgical facilities than non owners. The study examined approximately 950 surgeons at ambulatory surgical centers in the state of Florida. The study did not analyze whether the surgeries were medically necessary or not, but brought forth a motivation for surgical center owners who are surgeons to potentially perform more surgeries than necessary in order to generate additional revenue since payers have limited price increases for doctor's services.
This leaves consumers in the dark as to the motivation for an owner of a surgical center and whether they are possibly performing unnecessary surgeries at times to help generate revenue. Richard Victor, the executive director with the Workers Compensation Research Institute comes to the conclusion that surgery center owners are looking for additional ways to make money as insurers are limiting the price increases for their services. Mr. Victor states physicians are looking for other avenues to help supplement their income; not just by owning the surgery centers and MRI facilities, but dispensing prescription drugs, and other revenue opportunities. The author of the study, Christine Yee mentioned ambulatory surgical centers are likely to retain higher volume surgeons and these higher volume surgeons are more likely to become owners of surgical centers.
An interesting article about ambulatory care including surgical centers accounting for half of medical liability claims can be found on Dr. Bruce Fagel's blog, March 9th, 2012, titled, "AMA Study Shows 52% of Medical Liability Claims Occur in Ambulatory Settings, Including Doctor's Offices and Clinics." Visit
medical malpractice surgical center to read the article in full. The article discusses why more medical malpractice claims result from ambulatory settings than hospitals due to the complex environment. A 10 year review found two thirds of these medical malpractice claims were from major injuries or death to the patients.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured or died by a surgeon or surgical center, contact The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates for a free consultation. Dr. Fagel is a top medical malpractice attorney and a licensed medical doctor. Dr. Fagel practiced emergency room medicine for over 10 years before becoming a medical malpractice attorney.
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