Hospital vs Office Based Procedures (OBP)
Office-based surgical procedures have been on the increase in recent years. Many new techniques are introduced to physicians in the surgery center or operating room setting but are later driven to the office setting based on many factors. One of the most significant incentives to do procedures in-office is the simple fact that the physician can continue to see patients while he or she performs these surgeries during their normal workflow. This correlates to more office revenue and less downtime in the OR for the physician waiting on surgical suite availability.
In most markets across the country, the financial challenges faced by hospital systems have forced the closings and consolidation of many facilities resulting in fewer available operating rooms and surgery centers in many communities. As a result, it has become harder for physicians performing nonemergency procedures to schedule OR time.
Today’s sedation techniques have made the in-office surgery more viable, although some physicians still prefer to set aside one day per month designated as a “Surgery Day” where they have an Anesthesiologist on-site to administer sedation as needed. The vast majority of procedures are completed with just oral medications and an appropriate local anesthetic. Today’s anesthetics are faster acting and wear off just minutes after surgery and are much less likely to trigger any nausea or disorientation. Combine this with a favorable reimbursement picture where both patient and physician can benefit from OBP and its easy to see why the office continues to be a viable venue for minimally invasive modalities.
Some compelling benefits to any patient considering an in-office procedure.
1) Cost Saving– The additional costs tacked on to hospital surgery (OR fee, Anesthesiology fee, Medication fees) can add up quickly, up to 70% higher than OBP.
2) Time Savings– Hospital surgery schedule can be a problem, surgical delays are a fact of life. OBP the physician is in control, limited down time, limited delays.
3) Less exposure to germs– One in 25 patients end up with hospital-acquired infections each year. In-office procedures avoid exposure to unnecessary risk.