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Comparison of Ancillary Services offered by Hospitals, Physicians and Freestanding Ambulatory Service Centers

Comparison of Ancillary Services offered by Hospitals, Physicians and Freestanding Ambulatory Service Centers

There are numerous ancillary services offered for patients by hospitals and freestanding medical facilities. These services significantly improve speed, reliability and quality of service. They are becoming more popular among the clients serving as one of the main aspects of competition between clinics and freestanding ambulatory services centers (ASC). The competition itself often prove beneficial for the patients who can choose their service provider. This paper will compare the difference in ancillary services provided by freestanding ambulatory service centers and hospitals. 

There are numerous ancillary services available for the patients these days. These services may of a therapeutic, diagnostic or custodial nature. In general, ancillary services are those services that offered beyond main services of any given hospital. Physical therapy, X-ray services, diagnostic testing and pain management, are just a few examples of ancillary services. Hospitals emphasize ancillary services as a part of their overall service package. However, services provided at the hospitals often tend to be more expensive.        

For the hospitals in general and physicians in particular ancillary services represent a reasonable opportunity to increase the quality of services and to improve economic performance profile. The physicians soon began to deliver their services in either hospital owned ASC or in a freestanding facilities. Following technological advancement physicians began to perform surgeries and other invasive procedure at their labs. Physicians will retain their competitive position as high-quality ancillary services providers due to a high general profile of performance and steady demand on behalf of the clients. 

The popularity of ASC rose sharply in the first half of the 1980th following the decision of Medicare to provide reimbursement for services provide in ambulatory centers. While the ancillary services provided in an inpatient setting are no different from those provided in ASCs the freestanding facilities have the benefit of delivering a more community-oriented type of service. Thus, the major benefit of ASC over hospitals is the ability to react to community needs in much shorter period of time. 

As the competition between hospitals and freestanding medical facilities ramps up the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stepped up to regulate the very notion of ancillary service to prevent possible exploitation. However, despite some changes to reimbursement policies freestanding medical centers continue to gain popularity. Patients tend to prefer ASC services because of their ease of use, comfortable location and reimbursement by Medicare. 

In conclusion, there are various ancillary services available for patients these days. Hospitals, physicians, and freestanding service centers are the main providers of ancillary services on the market. Hospitals offer these services, in addition, to general inpatient care. Physicians deliver their services independently from hospitals and continue to gain popularity as service providers. Among all service providers, ASC continues to gain popularity as suitable providers of need services. 

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