Ambulatory Surgery Center Facts

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are an integral and well-established part of our nation's health care system. 

  • An ambulatory surgery center is a health care facility that performs outpatient surgical procedures for patients who do not require an overnight stay.
  • Texas surgery centers are licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and most are also Medicare certified.
  • The first U.S. surgery center opened in 1970, and today there are more than 5,344 surgery centers in the United States, nearly one for each hospital. In some states, surgery centers outnumber hospitals.
  • Almost 75% of all surgery today is performed on an outpatient basis. In 1980, that figure was only 15%. Slightly more than half of all outpatient surgeries are done in an ambulatory surgery center.

  • In Texas, 430 surgery centers employ over 7,300 people and have an estimated economic impact of nearly $1.7 billion.
  • Procedures commonly performed in ambulatory surgery centers include cataracts, colonoscopies, knee arthroscopies and tonsillectomies.
  • Most Texas surgery centers have physician partners. This ensures physician involvement in patient's surgical care and provides an incentive for surgeons to use the most cost-effective care setting.
  • Surgery centers save the Medicare system an estimated $2.3 billion annually by offering a high-quality, low-cost alternative to hospital-based surgery.