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Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs)

Jul 07, 2023

Sierra Pacific Surgical Providers

Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) are a cost effective alternative to hospital surgeries. This blog will explain some of the benefits to having a surgery performed at an ASC instead of a hospital or Hospital-based Outpatient Department surgery center.

Q: What is an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC)?

A: It is a stand alone surgery center that specializes in outpatient surgery. 


Q: Are all surgery centers the same?

A: No. There are two main types of surgery centers. 

      1. Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) 

      2. Hospital-Based Outpatient Department (HOPDs)

ASCs operate as stand alone surgery centers often formed as a collaboration between physicians and a local health care system. HOPDs are typically owned and attached to a health care system/hospital. There are many reasons why an ASC has advantages for the patient as opposed to a hospital outpatient surgery / HOPD. Having surgery done in an HOPD is usually the same cost as a hospital outpatient surgery, although some benefits such as faster process and lower infection rates can be seen in an HOPD as well. 


Q: Why would I choose to have my surgery in an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) instead of a hospital outpatient procedure?

A: There are many reasons to choose an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC):

- Less expensive

- Faster process

- Lower infection rates

- Insurance/Employer benefits


Lets dive in to these reasons. 

Less Expensive. An ASC is a surgery center is a stand alone surgery center that is a cost effective alternative to a hospital outpatient surgery. The easiest way to explain how it is a cost savings is to explaine what you pay for as an outpatient hospital surgical patient.  The hospital has many services that are available to all patients that present to the hospital. This includes radiology/imaging, lab services, physical therapy, intensvie care units, and emergency room services to name a few. The cost to provide these services is partially supported by the cost of outpatient surgery performed at the hospital. ASCs do not have all the ancillary services that a hospital does and as a result has a much lower overhead cost. This cost savings is passed on to you, the patient, and can be a difference of thousands of dollars. 


Faster Process: A hospital system is a large health care organization with many moving pieces and parts. Unfortunately, the size of the organization often will affect the length of time to provide certain services. From registration, to surgical prep, surgery time, and the recovery time in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) can all be affected. An ASC has the advantage of being a streamlined organization that focuses on one thing, outpatient surgery. As a result of their focus you can save hours on the day of your surgery but choosing an ASC over a hospital outpatient surgery.


Lower infection Rates: The California Ambulatory Surgery Assocation (CASA) is reporting up to 6 times lower infection rates in an ASC as opposed to an outpatient hospital base surgery. 


Insurance/Employer Benefits: Insurance companies recognize the benefits of having a surgery performed at an ASC. Often times, your insurance company will lower your cost if your surgery is performed at an ASC as opposed to a hospital based outpatient surgery. In fact, ASCs currently save patients and employers an estimated $38 billion per year. If more patients took advantage of an ASC base surgery it is estimated that an additional $41 per year could be saved. 


Sierra Pacific Surgical works in multiple ASCs and HOPDs to ensure that our patients are getting the best options for their surgery. Now not every patient is appropriate to have surgery at an ASC or HOPD. Patients with cardiac, respiratory, kidney or weight issues may benefit from a higher level of services available for support before, during and after surgery available in a hospital. Having a consultation and evaluation by one of our board certified surgeons would help determine what surgical location would be best for you.

See below for a list of facilities that we currently have privileges at:


Ambulatory Surgery Centers

- West Coast Joint and Spine Surgery Center (El Dorado Hills, CA)

- Sutter Sierra Surgery Center (Roseville, CA)

- Folsom Surgery Center (Folsom, CA)

- Citrus Heights Surgery Center (Citrus Heights, CA)

- Roseville Surgery Center (Roseville, CA)

- Aburn Surgery Center (Auburn, CA)


Hospital-based Outpatient Departments (HOPDs)

- Sutter Roseville Surgery Center Building Four (Roseville, CA)

- Mercy Medical Plaza Surgery Center (Sacramento, CA)

- Capital Pavillion Surgery Center (Sacramento, CA)



- Sutter Roseville Medical Center (Roseville, CA)

- Sutter Medical Center Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)

- Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital (Auburn, CA)

- Mercy San Juan Medical Center (Carmichael, CA)

- Mercy Hospital of Folsom (Folsom, CA)

- Mercy General Hospital (Sacramento, CA)