Ricardo Bojalil
View from the Top

Ambulatory Surgery: An Easy Pill to Swallow

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 14:02

Q: What needs did ASMED identify in the Mexican market, leading to its establishment in the country?

A: The gap between large and small hospitals in Mexico was extensive, so much that we saw a gap in the market for a sustainable business model. ASMED differentiated itself from the rest by inquiring about the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) industry model. ASC has been implemented around the world but especially in the US. By providing proper surgical and medical services in a secure and cost effective manner, we have positioned ourselves solidly in an extremely competitive field after only four years in the market.

Even though the ASC model is new in Mexico, there are some operating rooms (ORs) running outside hospitals in the country. However, their professionalism is not up to par. Most lack sufficient certifications and stricter policies to secure COFEPRIS’ authorizations. Hospitals have a broad range of services, creating managerial and operational challenges. ASMED has established and maintained high standards due to its specific OR focus.

Q: How has demand for these services increased over the last four years?

A: We have seen sustained double and triple digit growth on a yearly basis. New found niches have resulted in this type of market growth. However, we continue to work toward obtaining full consent and support from doctors. We are popular among insurance companies and major insured enterprises who purchase these policies. The newly found interest in the ASC model is contingent on our top-notch quality and competitive prices, which we continue to nourish. For instance, by choosing ASMED’s services, clients can save up to 40 percent on surgical- related costs.

Despite having garnered significant success in the Mexican market, paradigm shifts are always a hard pill to swallow. As such, reluctance from key players like doctors is not unexpected. The level of specialization in Mexican private hospitals is remarkable, but their services are not accessible to all social strata. On the contrary, some small hospitals

are poorly maintained and their medical technology is irregularly refurbished. Under these circumstances, our operations have secured the best of both worlds. ASMED’s infrastructure is conveniently equipped and well suited to handle ambulatory low-risk procedures, while delivering good value for the money.

Q: How do you encourage doctors and hospitals to refer people to ASMED’s outpatient facilities?

A: ASMED is a facilitator of positive health outcomes, which is sufficient to secure their attention. We accentuate our services’ convenience, coupled with high quality and cost effectiveness. We also provide infrastructure and secure processes needed to procure the best patient outcomes, which we take a lot of pride in. Consequently, ASMED being the service of choice for both doctors and patients is our immediate goal.

We complement hospitals’ and other healthcare providers’ operations. Considering the large amounts of medical devices and state-of-the-art infrastructure they are equipped with, servicing ambulatory procedures is too expensive to be considered effective. Competing against tier 1 hospitals is not our goal. We prefer to work toward improving patients’ and physicians’ overall approach to surgery.

Q: How has the company benefited from being certified by the General Health Council?

A: Being awarded the General Health Council’s certification is not our ultimate goal. We must continue to build on this and maintain what we have achieved in terms of quality, safety, and hygiene. These practices range from simple sanitary principles to rigorous processes, in compliance with international standards. The certification has enhanced our performance and our internal monitoring, consequently improving our standards. The certification has helped us achieve our purpose, which is driven by high- quality service offerings and zero medical contingencies. The enterprise is filing for international accreditation for specialized ambulatory surgical care, which no other company has been granted in Mexico.