Surgery centers report financial benchmarks

The average net income per case reported by participants in a Midwest benchmarking study — 2005 Midwest Ambulatory Surgical Center Benchmark and Salary Survey — ranged from $94.31 to $307.20 per case, with the average total operating expense ranging from $528.84 to $1,241.23. (See financial data.) The gross charges per case ranged from $1,642.74 to $2,479.64, according to the study.

The fourth annual survey was conducted by Somerset CPAs — Health Care Group in Indianapolis. The statistics are based on data provided by participating centers in six Midwest states: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Of the 79 responses, 54% (42) were owned by multiple physicians or physician groups; 27% (21) were joint ventures; 3% (3) were owned by a single physician or group; 1% (1) was owned by a corporate chain; and 15% (12) designated their ownership as "other." Most (65%) were multispecialty. Of the 28 facilities that reported being single specialty, 12 were ophthalmology, nine were gastroenterology, two were orthopedics, and two were otorhinolaryngology. Gynecology, urology, and plastics had one response each.

The average number of full-time equivalent OR registered nurses per facility ranged from 2.67 to 7.22. (See chart.) Most facilities (47%) reported one to five unplanned transfer to hospitals per year. (See chart.)

Caution should be used in interpreting the data because the survey is not based on a formal random sample, says Catherine M. Weaver, CASC, CHFA, health care consultant and manager at Somerset CPAs — Health Care Group. Also, when the response rate in a category is low, the results could change significantly with the addition of a few more data samples, she says.

"Our challenge in reporting the statistics is that we understand simply looking at data with one additional breakout, such a facility specialty, can change the data results," Weaver says.

They have chosen to focus their data breakouts on case volume and facility size to provide consistency from year to year. For example, the financial data for endoscopy-only facilities would show lower collections per case, because of lower reimbursement, which is the opposite of orthopedic centers. Also, if you compared volume per room, based on the number of procedure/ORs, you likely would find higher per-room volume for endoscopy vs. orthopedic, she says.


The 2005 Midwest Ambulatory Surgical Center Benchmark and Salary Survey is available for $100. Contact:

  • Catherine M. Weaver, CASC, CHFA, Health Care Consultant and Manager, Somerset CPAs — Health Care Group, 3925 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Phone: (317) 472-2230. Fax: (317) 208-1230. E-mail: Web: