doctors performing surgery in operating room

Ambulatory Surgery Center Facts

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

  • An ambulatory surgery center is a healthcare 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 over 5,900 Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery centers in the United States, performing 22.5 million surgical procedures annually (via Ambulatory Surgery Center Association).

  • 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 alone, there are 569 ASCs (via Texas Health & Human Services).

  • There are 196,884 industry employees in the United States (via IBISWorld).

  • Common procedures in ASCs include cataract surgery, gallbladder removal, tonsillectomy, endoscopy/colonoscopy, and arthroscopic/orthopedic procedures, with cardiology being the fastest-growing specialty (via Avanza Healthcare Strategies). 

  • The annual median number of surgical cases per operating room is 1,104; of procedures per procedure room is 1,357; of orthopedic cases per room is 800; of ophthalmology cases per room is 1,400; and of gastroenterology cases per room is 1,500 (via Avanza Healthcare Strategies).

  • Sales for the industry came out to $1235 billion in 2021, and in the past three years, the sector has grown 5.2% annually (via Kentley Insights).

  • The ownership structure of ASCs can be broken down as follows: physician only - 60%, hospital-physician - 17%, corporate-physician - 13%, corporate only - 5%, hospital only - 3%, and other - 2% (via Avanza Healthcare Strategies).

  • Surgery centers save the Medicare system over $4.2 billion each year (via Advancing Surgical Care).