Shifting common outpatient procedures to ASCs can save consumers more than $680 per procedure

UnitedHealth Group says such a shift would reduce spending by 59%.

September 9, 2021 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Hospital outpatient departments perform routine procedures and surgeries, such as colonoscopies and cataract removals, for commercially insured individuals at substantially higher prices than Ambulatory Surgery Centers, according to new findings published by UnitedHealth Group.

Shifting outpatient procedures for non-complex commercially insured individuals to ASCs would reduce spending by 59% and save consumers $684 on average per outpatient procedure, the data showed.


The average price of common procedures performed in a hospital outpatient department in 2019 was $7,716 –144% more than the average price of the same procedures performed in ASCs, with the data showing that ASC costs tend to hover around $3,160.

Of the more than 6 million routine outpatient procedures performed in hospital outpatient departments, only 10% of procedures are for complex patients, such as those with morbid obesity or those suffering from end stage renal disease, data showed. 


Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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