U.S. senator visits local surgery center

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 8/15/19

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn visited Cleveland Wednesday to tour a local surgery center to learn more about how such facilities can not only provide excellent care, but also save Tennesseans million of …

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U.S. senator visits local surgery center

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U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn visited Cleveland Wednesday to tour a local surgery center to learn more about how such facilities can not only provide excellent care, but also save Tennesseans million of dollars per year.

Blackburn toured The Surgery Center of Cleveland, an ambulatory surgery center where physicians can perform surgeries “from eyes to feet,” according to Marietha Silvers, facility administrator. 

Silvers told Blackburn the center performed over 5,000 surgeries last year, saving each patient thousands of dollars.

Sixty percent of the facility’s patients are on Medicare, Silvers told Blackburn.

According to Silvers, ambulatory surgery centers that serve Medicare patients must meet federal requirements to ensure patient safety and quality of services.

She told Blackburn that ASCs save more than $104 million in Medicare savings for Tennesseans, as well as $2.3 billion per year in Medicare savings nationwide.

A study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley also found that “if the ASC share within the Medicare system increased by just 3%, the savings could exceed $57.6 billion over 10 years.”

“We can do surgeries just like at a hospital, but more efficiently and less costly,” Silvers said.

Silvers is also the present of the Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.

According to the surgery center’s website, patients treated at ASCs receive the following benefits:

• Patients are discharged home the same day as their surgery.

• Patients are afforded a more comfortable environment than a hospital.

• Easier access for patients and their families.

• Reduced risk of infections compared to hospitals.

• Cost-effective alternative to inpatient care. Patients pay approximately 50% less than the same procedure in a hospital setting.

The center has been providing medical care to patients since the 1990s and has grown to include a roster of more than 20 physicians who specialize in orthapaedics, ophthalmology, hand surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, oral surgery and the ear, nose and throat.

“We are the second ambulatory surgery center to open in Tennessee,” Silvers told Blackburn.

The first ASC opened in Johnson City.

Blackburn said she wanted to visit the facility to find out how it provides efficient, cost-effective healthcare.

“It is always good to see Tennesseans in their place of work and learning about how ambulatory surgery centers are responding to the needs of the community,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn is currently touring the state to meet with elected officials. She was scheduled to be in Chattanooga on Thursday.

“What we are doing is meeting with local elected officials and working with them to find out how we can better serve their communities,” Blackburn told the Cleveland Daily Banner.

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