Ambulatory surgery center (ASC)

Overview | What procedures can be done at ASCs? | How can ASCs save me money? | Other ASC benefits


Get savings and convenience at an ambulatory surgery center

Having surgery at the hospital can be stressful – and expensive. Did you know that you can have many procedures done at a more comfortable and affordable setting? 

Your Blue Shield of California plan gives you access to a quality network of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). 

What are ambulatory surgery centers (ASC)?

ASCs provide a lower-cost alternative to hospital care. They are modern healthcare facilities that can perform similar procedures traditionally performed at a hospital setting. 

ASCs offer patients the convenience of having surgeries and procedures performed safely outside of hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). In many cases, physicians often work at both an ASC and HOPD. However, ASCs typically focus on less complicated surgeries that do not require hospitalization. 

What procedures can be done at ASCs?

ASCs specialize in types of surgery that are planned in advance. These are often known as elective procedures or outpatient surgeries. The procedures performed at an ASC are broad in scope and can include (but are not limited to): 

  • Orthopedics
  • Neurology
  • Gynecology
  • ENT
  • Urology 
  • General surgery


Surgeries and procedures performed at an ASC

Type of Surgery Common Procedures
Ear, nose and throat Tonsil removal, ear tubes
Stomach and colon issues Colonoscopy (exam of the colon), endoscopy (exam of the digestive track), hermorrhoid removal
General Biopsies (e.g., breast, bone, liver, etc.), hernia repair, appendix removal, gall bladder removal
Gynecology (women's health) Hysteroscopy, hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), tubal ligation (having "tubes tied")
Eye surgeries Cataract removal, repair of retina, cornea transplant
Plastic surgery Skin grafts
Foot issues Bunion removal, hammer toe repair
Prostate, bladder and kidney issues Some prostate surgeries, bladder exam by scope, kidney stone surgery
Blood vessel issues Varicose veins
Joint and bone issues Knee repair, ACL repair, shoulder repair, hand/wrist procedures, treatment of fractures or dislocations

How can ASCs save me money?

ASCs are smaller than hospitals, so typically they have less overhead. These facilities only carry out specific procedures. This can help make them more efficient for certain types of care. It allows them to offer more affordable prices.

Other ASC benefits

You are likely to spend less time at an ASC than at a hospital. That means there’s a reduced risk of getting an infection. You – as well as the staff – may also have less contact with sick patients.

Many patients prefer the smaller setting of an ASC. These facilities also have less demands placed on them compared with hospitals. It’s unusual for procedures to be delayed at an ASC due to emergencies or other unexpected situations.

Get started

Ask your doctor if an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) may be right for your procedure.

To find an ASC near you, click the Find an ASC button, follow the steps until you get to Search facilities then select and check the Ambulatory surgery center box.

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