It is sad that as the sun sets on Same-Day Surgery, this will be my last column with this outstanding publication.

After three decades of writing this column, I am sad the end has arrived but delight in the joy, information, and feedback (given and taken) for these many years. I would like to close with some insight in where I believe our industry heading.

Single-Payer Healthcare. Much can be learned from how this is working in other countries. You can judge those results for yourself.

Taking this path will lead to privatization of healthcare for those who can afford a cash-for-care system. It will greatly expand the private marketplace for everything from surgery facilities to office visits. Those who can most afford it will experience the most prompt and efficient service.

Surgery centers will be high on the list of desired services for minimal wait times, best trained staff, superior equipment, and quality outcomes.

Current System with Restrictions. Tort reform will be the only way to control the increasing cost of our current health system. Awarding massive legal settlements that drive up the cost of healthcare needs to be regulated and justified. So much of our healthcare dollars are spend on protecting our backside vs. improving the education, training, and minimizing costly mistakes.

Increased U.S.-Based Competition for Goods and Services. Instituting reforms to ensure the United States does not have to rely so much on outside countries for critical products has to begin. This includes pharmaceuticals.

Lifestyle Behaviors. Reward or penalize based on outcomes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is taking the right step by recognizing that most surgical procedures can be performed in an ambulatory surgery center at a greatly reduced cost.

I want to thank Relias, the owners of Same-Day Surgery, for allowing me to write for them. A big thank you to Joy Dickinson, one of my first long-term editors of this column, the current editor, Jonathan Springston, and author Melinda Young for making me look better than I am and for providing insight and guidance over the years. Also, thank you to all the Editorial Advisory Board members, including Kay Ball, Mark Mayo, and Steve Gunderson.

Most of all, I want to thank each of you readers and your outstanding feedback over the decades. I have received literally thousands of emails, calls, letters, texts, and even telegrams over the years from you. You have always been an inspiration, even when we did not agree on a topic. We have moved our office and our new address is below so please, stay in touch.

All my email messages, business cards, and documentation include the words “audentes fortuna iuvat.” This Latin phrase means, “fortune favors the bold.” The world we live in today is complex and confusing. It is often difficult to focus, find the right path in life, and determine the best course of business.

I am a huge believer in affirmations. You can make things happen if you believe you can. Your glass in life is half full — always. Be positive about everything and see only the best in people. Audentes fortuna iuvat. Thank you! 

(Earnhart & Associates is a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of outpatient surgery development and management. Address: 6606 FM 1488 Ste. 148-626 Magnolia, TX, 77354. Office: (512) 320-8580. E-fax: (512) 233-2979. Mobile: (512) 297-7575. Email: Web: Instagram: Earnhart.Associates.)