Eye on OOSS

To envest …

My father, a truly self-made entrepreneur, always encouraged me to place whatever resources I might acquire into something I might own. By “ownership” he meant an asset that offered enterprise potential, the value of which would be, at least in part, derivative of my own sweat equity, personality, skills, and aspirations. He was big on education, owning a business, and managing real estate. He had little interest in passive investments that were subject to the whims of strangers and markets beyond his control. His philosophy served our family well and has shaped any entrepreneurial success I might achieve.

As I have come to know the ophthalmic ASC community over the past 14 years, I see my dad’s philosophy borne out in those of you who choose to vest highly advanced and specialized careers, substantial financial resources, and exceptionally high-minded aspirations in these truly unique medical enterprises. And when OOSS meets as a community during annual events at AAO and ASCRS, I am reminded over and over again just how personally engaged you are — physicians, administrators, and clinical staff — in leveraging well-earned educations, forging disciplined and accomplished careers, and putting personal signatures on the good work and reputation you are envested in. I am not accidentally misspelling “invest” but rather have crafted a different spelling to convey the nature of an entrepreneurial commitment in an ASC enterprise.

This summer and fall, as we prepare for our annual membership and partnership campaigns and ramp up for our annual events at AAO in November and ASCRS in April, you will learn more about our OOSS envest endeavors to encourage continued growth and development of the ophthalmic ASC community.

OOSS programs are shaped by the interests expressed by the staffs of our member centers. Our 2020 Industry Survey, which was conducted in 2016, indicates that 70% of ophthalmic ASCs expect ownership changes over the next several years to increase patient volume and the range of services offered, and to increase utilization and efficiency. This tells us that we need to assist our members with succession planning, the challenges of consolidation, and working with third-partner investors and payers. Asked how they plan to invest financial resources, most center owners say they’re putting their money first into their people through increased compensation and training and development. Next, they’re investing in clinical equipment and facility improvements. These projections signal the need for assistance with recruiting, hiring, retention, and education and for guidance in planning major capital investments in equipment and facilities.

Our fall symposium and workshop at AAO will offer a new, up-tempo, and refreshing way to view and address the ophthalmic ASC as an ecosystem that supports wellness, while enhancing performance, outcomes, and experiences on behalf of surgeons, staff, and patients. Attendees will be introduced to ground-breaking research with direct applications to the ophthalmic ASC environment. Included will be a clear-eyed view of how to best make ecosystem envestments, followed by an interactive envisioning workshop to help prepare our ASCs for the future.

Our fall membership and partnership campaigns will focus on reinforcing and telling the complete OOSS story, promoting the benefits of membership and importance of collaboration, and the chorusing of our voices to advocate on behalf of the entire ASC community and the patients we serve.

I can still hear what my father would often say, “It’s best to envest in what you do…” and then he would always add, “… and then do it very well.” ■

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