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J Med Syst. 2011 Oct;35(5):1029-37. doi: 10.1007/s10916-010-9522-z. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

An efficiency-based multicriteria strategic planning model for ambulatory surgery centers.

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Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) provide a low-cost alternative to traditional inpatient care. In addition, with health care reform imminent, it is likely that many currently uninsured people will soon acquire health care coverage, significantly increasing the demand for health services. ASCs are among the providers that can expect to see a substantial amount of this new pent-up demand and, therefore, ASCs are likely to continue their current growth into the foreseeable future. Those ASCs that plan accordingly by optimizing procedure mix and volume will benefit most from the increased demand. We propose a two-stage efficiency-based multicriteria decision model to guide an ASC in identifying its optimal procedure mix. The first stage uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to calculate the efficiency of each procedure based on the resources required to perform the procedure, the revenue it generates, and its risk of complications. The second stage uses the DEA factor efficiency scores in a bottleneck program to optimize the mix of procedures while satisfying the ASC's resource and operational constraints. The criteria are to (1) maximize reimbursement while (2) minimizing the total number of complications. We demonstrate the approach using a data set based in part on data from an actual ASC.

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