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Building Professional Resilience: Strategies For Anesthesia Practitioners

It is becoming all too common for physicians to report feeling overwhelmed by the demands of their jobs, and, at times, even emotionally, psychologically and physically depleted. In fact, occupational burnout, a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal accomplishment,¹ is hitting near-epidemic rates acr...
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Anesthesia Practitioners: Don’t Put Off Succession Planning

SUMMARY Because most anesthesiologists practice in large groups, succession planning revolves primarily around considering the impact a retirement will have on the group. Experts advise advance planning and thinking in terms of having a "next generation" of clinicians in place to avoid gaps. Only 23 percent of physicians 55 and older are involved i...
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Predictions for Healthcare in a Trump Era

Healthcare has been the talking point for generations, but its presence has been even more pronounced since President Obama's election in 2008. Such discussions have revolved around passing comprehensive healthcare reform, passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), repealing the ACA and replacing it with the American Health Care Act of ...
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Physician Burnout: An Update for Anesthesia Practitioners

SUMMARY Burnout affects more than half of physicians and, according to a new survey, more than half of anesthesiologists. In a recent article, a group of prominent health system CEOs calls on healthcare leaders to take an active part in addressing what is now considered a serious public health problem that impacts patient safety, healthcare costs a...
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Switzerland and the Anesthesia Group Structure

Quick! Who's the president of Switzerland?Anesthesia group leaders seeking to create a larger structure out of existing groups, from an alliance among local groups, to business models for exclusive contracting, to the creation of a true regional or national player, encounter a plethora of problems from the merely difficult (e.g., due diligence) to ...
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Acute Pain Management in Anesthesia: A Case Study

SUMMARY The interscalene block is not a new technique, but its acceptance as a routine anesthetic modality for shoulder surgery has evolved slowly. A review of the ABC client base indicates additional potential for the use of this block with ultrasonic guidance. Anesthesia practices should review their data to assess that the reasons for not doing ...
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Electronic Medical Records in Anesthesia: Who Will Benefit and How?

The concept of automating the anesthesia record has intrigued academicians for decades. Some of the early versions of software packages for computer-based record keeping were quite complete and impressive despite the technology's limitations during the 1980s and 1990s. A number of companies made significant investments in the various software optio...
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Your 2017 MACRA MIPS Composite Score: A Guide for Anesthesia Practitioners

SUMMARY Most anesthesia practitioners participating in the Quality Payment Program in 2017 will participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This eAlert offers a guide for eligible clinicians on how the MIPS composite score will be calculated, including an explanation of the scoring system's four thresholds, a description of the ...
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Hope Is Not a Strategy: A Primer for Anesthesia Groups on Strategic Planning

One of the most important responsibilities of any anesthesia group's governance is to develop a strategic plan for the group. For some groups this is the role of the Board. In other groups, all shareholders participate in this process.Unfortunately, it appears that for many groups, "hope" is their strategy.We are continually surprised to find group...
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E-Prescribing and Other Opioid-Related News for Pain and Anesthesia Practitioners

SUMMARY Despite some small signs of progress, the opioid epidemic remains a serious reality in the United States, with recent survey data showing that one in three patients who have taken prescription opioids for at least two months report addiction or psychological dependence. An article by Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, in the April 2017 issue of Annals ...
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Anesthesia Mergers and Acquisitions and Post-Termination Obligations: Have You Terminated Your Future?

I pushed the wiring instructions across the table.A few minutes later, I confirmed that close to $10 million was in the account of my client, the sole shareholder.Then we all went to lunch.Ah, the shiny object, the more or less instant gratification. The sale of your anesthesia group and the fresh $1 million in your pocket.But what comes next? And ...
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The American Health Care Act: An Overview for Anesthesia Practitioners

SUMMARY Efforts by Congress and the Trump administration to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are far from over, and the impact on patients, hospitals and healthcare providers, including anesthesia practitioners, is still not known. We summarize the provisions of the American Health Care Act and responses from major healthcare organization...
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What Anesthesiologists Need to Know About Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements

Amanda K. Jester, JDWaller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, Austin, TXAshleigh VanLandingham, JDWaller Lansden Dortsch & Davis, LLP, Nashville, TNOn May 5, 2016, the White House issued a report citing a variety of issues with the use of non-compete agreements advocating for non-compete reform at the state and federal level.1 According to the Wh...
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11 Building Blocks of a Safety Culture in Anesthesia—and Beyond

SUMMARY Without sustained efforts by healthcare leaders—including anesthesia leaders—to foster a culture that lives and breathes patient safety, organizations and practices cannot change, according to Ana Pujols McKee, MD, of The Joint Commission. We highlight 11 Tenets of a Safety Culture, issued in a recent Sentinel Event Alert, all of which depe...
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Hope Is Not a Strategy: A Primer for Anesthesia Groups on Strategic Planning

One of the most important responsibilities of any anesthesia group's governance is to develop a strategic plan for the group. For some groups this is the role of the Board. In other groups, all shareholders participate in this process.Unfortunately, it appears that for many groups, "hope" is their strategy.We are continually surprised to find group...
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Anesthesiologists: Innovate and Anticipate the ‘Next Play’ to Lead the Specialty’s Move to Value-Based Care

SUMMARY Anesthesiology is in the midst of a 'Blockbuster-Netflix moment,' according to Daniel Cole, MD, immediate past president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. By focusing on innovation and opportunities for system performance improvement, and with insight into their own leadership styles, anesthesiology leaders can help the professi...
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What Impact Could ICD-10 Really Have on Anesthesia?

On October 1, 2015, a major change to diagnosis coding was rolled out with the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems 10th revision (ICD-10), and virtually all payers (except workers compensation and auto carriers) have agreed to implement the new codes. There was serious concern that the complexity of the new code seq...
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Negotiating a Hospital Employment Contract: Smart Tips for Anesthesia Providers

SUMMARY Although our experience tells us that anesthesiologists and anesthesia groups are less likely than other specialty groups to become hospital employees, it's important to know what you could be facing should you find yourself in the situation of needing to negotiate an employment agreement. We highlight some of the takeaways from a presentat...
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Electronic Medical Records in Anesthesia: Who Will Benefit and How?

The concept of automating the anesthesia record has intrigued academicians for decades. Some of the early versions of software packages for computer-based record keeping were quite complete and impressive despite the technology's limitations during the 1980s and 1990s. A number of companies made significant investments in the various software optio...
Continue reading
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Hospital Drug Diversion Prevention: Strategies for Anesthesiologists, Nurse Anesthetists and Chronic Pain Specialists

SUMMARY The Drug Enforcement Agency and other agencies are scrutinizing hospitals and healthcare facilities more closely for failure to implement and maintain appropriate drug diversion prevention policies, procedures and programs, and they are holding organizations as well as individuals responsible. As professionals who manage and administer a la...
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