These are boom times for surgical centers.
The first ones opened in 1970. They were low-cost alternatives to hospitals for minor surgeries. They were places to go for routine outpatient procedures. Things like colonoscopies or cataract removal.
But today, they’ve become a huge business. They now outnumber hospitals. There are more than 5,600 across the country. And in the quest for profits, they have started doing more complicated surgeries, like delicate spinal procedures.