Success doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of smart strategies and hard work. When people and teams work together for the success of everyone involved, the chances for a win increase dramatically. At Atlas Healthcare Partners, we know the advantages of true partnership, and our goal is to build relationships where everyone benefits. That’s why we take a unique approach to the development and management of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs).

Ours is a partnership-first approach focused on delivering long-term success and profitability for the health systems and physicians we work with. We believe deep integration within a health system is the key to true alignment, enabling us to develop an ASC strategy that bridges the gap between the health system and physicians, and build strong working partnerships with both.

We strive to be more than just another vendor because a relationship built on the principles of true partnership and alignment is the key to long-term success. Here’s a look at how we work to achieve success together.

Understanding Health System Goals and Strategy

Atlas works closely with health system leadership, meeting with key executives and decision makers to understand the unique strategies driving the overall business and where ASCs fit into the larger goals of the health system, beyond ASC growth plans. For example, a health system might be seeking to enhance the patient experience, discover operational efficiencies to lower costs or innovate its care delivery model — all of which an ASC strategy can impact.

How do we know when we’re doing it right?

  • When we are thriving in the areas that the health system wants, such as a greater ASC footprint, more diverse service lines, increase in case volume, improved clinical quality results and reduced turnover among physicians and team members
  • When we are asked to consult on other projects that may not be specific to ASCs because we’ve become a trusted partner with valued expertise
  • When the ASC business line is expanding and profitable

For example, with our partner, Banner Health, Atlas has become an integral part of the system’s ambulatory planning over the past few years. Our executive team works with others on the ambulatory team at Banner to provide feedback, insights, strategy and resources where appropriate. We make ourselves available to work with the Banner team on any projects they need and consider ourselves a member of their ambulatory team, not just an ASC vendor. And as a result of this dedication, they see us as a team member too.

Developing a Tailored ASC Strategy

Once we have a firm grasp of the organizational goals and strategy, we can assess specific needs and develop a tailored ASC strategy that supports them.

“The best way to look at a surgery center is as its own business,” our CEO, Aric Burke, said in a recent podcast. “And each one needs to have its own strategy.”

To accomplish that, we rely on the Atlas Operating Model and its four pillars — culture, service, growth and profitability— to deliver exceptional operational and financial performance and a competitive advantage. In practice, this means:

  • We recruit and hire the talent that is best for the ASC, whether it’s a local nurse from the community or someone with specific service line knowledge
  • We analyze the market to determine where the greatest need is for patients and physicians, from service gaps we can help fill to understanding the demographics and where the greatest opportunity for growth is
  • We focus on the long term and continually revisit the strategy to ensure we’re building or acquiring the right ASCs to meet the health system’s growth and profitability goals

Dedicated Management Services Teams

Our dedicated service teams help us bring strategy into focus and create a successful partnership strategy for the ASC. These teams are led by individuals with deep industry knowledge and skillsets rooted in their management area. From Procurement to Business Development or Payer Contracts, each team is highly specialized in its focus area and takes a customized approach based on the needs and goals of the ASC. And because the team leaders are also connected with others in the industry, they’re able to be even more effective in their role on behalf of the partnership.

After the partnership is formed, some of these leaders remain with the ASC, including the CEO/ASC leader and other ASC team members. In addition, there are other service team members assigned to support the ASCs, including the Business Development team, whose members provide dedicated support to specific geographic regions.

This team approach ensures that each ASC is run as it’s intended: as a separate business and with the utmost efficiency to drive growth and maximize success. Our focus on customization allows Atlas to meet the needs of each individual ASC — whatever its location, service-line, physician-team and organizational goals may be.

A True Partner, Not a Competitor

Many health system leaders assume that all ASC management partners operate in the same way and end up acting primarily as a competitor, but this isn’t true for Atlas. The Atlas difference is that we work closely with health systems every step of the way to make this a win-win for everyone.

Our CEO perhaps said it best when he said: “Health systems have realized that it’s better to hire an expert who can be their partner and help deliver exceptional performance in the outpatient setting. Then, they can focus on running the hospitals, which is their core competency. And that makes for a great partnership.”

One example of how we integrate rather than functioning as a competitor is the Atlas business development team regularly meets with the business development teams of our health system partners to discuss strategy, provide updates on the development of new ASCs, and determine how our teams can help each other on various projects.

Here to Serve

To enable us to support our health system partners far into the future, we establish long-term contracts and strive to continuously meet the goals set forth in them. This support looks different for every health system partner — by design.

But it’s our passion for service that remains constant, and it’s reflected in everything we do, including the experienced teams we hire, and the expert support we provide to our physician and health system partners. We strive to create a work culture where a focus on professionalism and engagement is balanced with an environment of empathy and open communication. In this way, we’re able to set our partners and teams up for success.