How Is An Ambulatory Surgery Center Different From A Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center?

The terms “ambulatory surgery” and “outpatient surgery” mean exactly the same thing and can be used interchangeably. However, when the terms refer to the facilities where the procedures take place, their meanings take on subtle differences. A hospital outpatient surgery center and an ambulatory surgery center differ in several fundamental respects even though they offer the exact same services.

Ambulatory Surgery Center VS Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center

How Is An Ambulatory Surgery Center Different From A Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center 1


A hospital outpatient surgery center is established to handle minor surgery cases that can be performed the same day, and the patients are discharged immediately after that. It is more efficient and beneficial for hospitals and patients alike because patients don’t have to check into the hospital and stay overnight for something relatively simple.

Hospitals don’t have to focus as much attention on them as they do on the more severe cases. However, an outpatient surgery center remains affiliated with the hospital, while an ASC is entirely independent.

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A hospital outpatient surgery center is usually either located in the hospital or is attached to it. Even if not physically attached, the outpatient surgery center is usually located somewhere on the hospital campus or at least somewhere in the neighborhood.

Because an ASC operates independently of a hospital, proximity to it is not a consideration when it comes to determining where to build it.


One of the main differences between an Ambulatory Surgery Center and a Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center is cost.

Compared to what an outpatient surgery center may charge for a procedure, an ASC may charge between 40% and 50% less. The higher prices are because hospitals have to comply with regulatory requirements that ASCs do not. They also have to be ready to handle emergency situations at all times, which increases their overhead.

Because of the lower overhead, ASCs can offer the exact same services at lower prices. Nevertheless, a hospital outpatient surgery center offers its own advantages. If you are already a patient in the system, your information is on file, and you may have less paperwork to fill out.

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Images by Sasin Tipchai and Jason Shivers from Pixabay

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