Letter: Routt County needs ambulatory surgery center
Ambulatory surgery centers were first established nearly 50 years ago. There are over 5,400 Medicare-certified ASCs in the United States, with over 120 located in Colorado. Many operate as joint ventures with the local hospitals to help lower patient costs.
With health-care costs rising at dramatic rates, ASCs stand out as one of the areas of medicine where rates are decreasing for patients and employers.
Today, patients in small communities, like Steamboat Springs, must be discerning consumers, having to decide between receiving outpatient surgical care at a local hospital where costs are typically very high or traveling to an ASC outside the community for more affordable care.
Conscientious employers want to curb health-care spending among their employees. Many of them, right here in Routt County, are now offering incentives to employees to bypass local care for less expensive options. Unfortunately, in many cases, those less expensive options are located hundreds of miles from the valley.
Nearly all similar resort towns in Colorado already have ambulatory surgical centers. There are numerous ones on the Western Slope that are joint ventures with their local hospitals.
The Yampa Valley Medical Center has always prided itself on being a community hospital, and we believe it is time for Steamboat Springs to also provide these options for our community so that patients do not have to go out of town to find less expensive options.
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