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Ambulatory Surgery Centers vs. Hospitals for Outpatient Services

A colonoscopy or upper endoscopy can be more cost-effective and more convenient when you schedule it at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC).

GI Doctor places hand on patient’s shoulder

If your doctor recommends a low-risk, outpatient procedure like a colonoscopy or an upper endoscopy, you can enjoy considerable savings by scheduling it at an in-network ASC. An ASC is a freestanding medical facility that offers surgical and preventative services on an outpatient basis.

If you’ve never heard of ASCs, you’re not alone. Although they have been in existence since the 1970s, ASCs have become more well-known only in the past few decades. Many patients assume that high-quality medical procedures must be performed in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD), but that assumption is changing. Today, over half of all outpatient procedures and preventative services are performed at ASCs.

One of the most compelling reasons to consider an ASC for your next procedure is the rate of patient satisfaction with procedures performed at ASCs. ASC patients have reported a 92 percent satisfaction rate. According to questionnaires, patients are most impressed with the ease of scheduling, the safe and high-quality services, lower costs and personal attention. 

As you can see, ASCs offer the same benefits as hospital inpatient departments but at a discounted cost:

ASC HOPD
Care up to 23 hours Care up to 23 hours
Reduced costs Higher costs
Lower infection rates Low infection rates
Patients are in good general health Patients have wide-ranging health conditions
Positive patient outcomes Positive patient outcomes
Quality care Quality care


If you need to schedule a minimally invasive procedure, and you’re in good health, talk to your gastroenterologist about recommending an in-network ASC. After you experience the convenience, personalized care and exceptional value, you will understand why patients prefer ASCs over hospitals.

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