Joseph Zasa Discusses ASC Management Book as First Comprehensive Book on ASCs

book-cover-1Recently, The Ambulatory M&A Advisor welcomed Robert Zasa, Managing Partner and Founding Partner of ASD Management as an Editorial Advisor to the publication.  Aside from his work with ASD Managment and The Ambulatory M&A Advisor, Zasa and his brother Joseph Zasa, also a Founding Partner of ASD Management, recently authored and published their first book, “Developing and Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers”.

Joesph Zasa helmed the project and explained to The Ambulatory M&A Advisor why the book was created for developers in the ASC industry.

“Ambulatory Surgery Centers are a low cost provider of outpatient surgery.  I think a systematic approach to management and development from an expert approach is needed.  There is no “how to” manual to get things done in the area.  I’m not saying that this is the definitive manual, but I am hoping that it starts the discussion about how surgery centers should be run most effectively.  In a lot of ways, it’s like a golf book that explains how Joe Zasa and his friends hit a golf ball,” Zasa says.

Zasa says that with the release of the book, he hopes that readers will have a better understanding of the topic.

“It may not teach them how to run a surgery center or develop a surgery center, but they will have a very strong understanding of the steps that it takes to develop and manage a surgery center.  To us, it is a process, there is a system that you have to lay in there, and there are people and leaders as the foundation, walls, and roof concept.  Ultimately it is a people business but you have to have a good system.”  Zasa stresses that the book is not to be considered an advertisement for ASD Management, and is really his way of showing how his business works with the management and development process; but does not mean that the methods discussed are the only ways to do it.

Zasa says the idea for the book had been brewing for a couple of years before its initial creation.

“A friend of mine is in another industry and told me that he has written a few books and he thought it was really helpful for his business.  I kept thinking about our industry and realized that the real genesis behind the book was that there is nothing in our industry to help these young administrators understand how certain surgery centers work.  It has always been word of mouth, or “this is how this company does it compared to how that company does it.”  I thought about the concept then figured that the best way to write the book would be based on the concept of the famous poker book called Super System by Doyle Brunson,” Zasa says.

“He included people in the creation of the book that he thought were good players.  They would co-write chapters together.  I thought that was a really cool concept.  I started it in January of 2015, and from start to finish it took approximately one year.  The heavy writing took three months.  I wrote most of the book in the first three months then asked different people to co-author chapters, and everybody said yes.”

Zasa says that although the book was a success to write, there were challenging aspects in the creative process that made authoring the book tough.

“This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done.  What happens is that you have got a lot of thoughts about what you want to remember to put in the book.  You are sitting there having to be really self disciplined and outline what you really want to write and then write it, then re-write it a couple of times to make sure that it is clear and that you are conveying the proper message,” Zasa says.

One of the most interesting aspects about the book is the thematic element of the book that compares managing an ASC with building a house.

“I think what it is, is there are four cornerstones which are your operating systems, their clinical, your risk management, your managed care in your business office.  The walls are the people, the staff, the surgeons and the managers; and the roof is the leadership.  All three of those need to be built from the ground up, then have to be held together,” Zasa says.

“A house becomes a home when everything is working together and the organizational magic of working together as a team to take care of patients is created.  It’s that thematic element of the house that I believe is the most integral part of the book.”

Zasa says that the book is meant to assist new managers and developers in the ASC industry.  One of the main issues that he says the book addresses is that of management and hiring.

“There is a chapter about what Disney princesses teach you about hiring managers.  I think that the common mistake is that we are looking for good managers like the good princess or queen who is selfless, benevolent, looks out for everybody else, and leads by example to create a whole unit.  This is versus the evil queen who plays favorites, is usually very highly intelligent but undermines management. They are divisive and act in a bullying type manner.  Finding the good employees from the bad employees is really the key to it.  Sometimes the bad employees appear like they are princesses, but they really end up being cancerous to the organization,” Zasa says.

In a saturated market where ASCs are prevalent, any information that would assist managers and developers is welcome.  The book, “Developing and Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers” can be purchased at www.asdmanagement.com/books/.

If you have an interest in learning more about the subject matter covered in this article, the M&A process or desire to discuss your current situation, please contact Blayne Rush, Investment Banker at 469-385-7792 or Blayne@AmbulatoryAlliances.com.

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