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Anesthesia Practitioners: CMS Prepares for New Physician Compare Star-Based Rating System

SUMMARY A new five-star quality rating system for clinicians and group practices will become part of the Physician Compare website in late 2017. The purpose of the system is to help patients and others make more informed choices. The ratings will be based on data from the Physician Quality Reporting System in the first year, and, in later years, dr...
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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 2...
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AI and Machine Learning in Healthcare and Anesthesia: Where Are We Going?

​Summary The growth of big data, advances in software and hardware, and the development of cloud-based business models are fueling an explosion in the use of machine learning (artificial intelligence), particularly in healthcare. All clinicians, including anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, are likely to find themselves incorporating ML ...
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An AHCA (H.R. 1628) Update for Anesthesia Groups

The latest version of the House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, passed in early May, would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion and result in 23 million additional uninsured Americans by 2026 compared with current law, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. We h...
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The Perioperative Surgical Home: Preoperative Risk Stratification, Optimization and Value

Payers, patients and partners are demanding better outcomes, and evolving healthcare paradigms are begging for greater anesthesia engagement. If you have been following this series, then you already know that the perioperative surgical home (PSH) is the answer to the call and the future of our specialty. What you may not know is how easy it can be ...
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Cybersecurity News and Best Practices for Anesthesia Groups

Do the names WannaCrypt or WannaCry mean anything to you? They well might, by now. In a global cyberattack that began on May 12, 2017, this aggressive form of ransomware infected more than 300,000 Windows PCs in 150 countries across Europe, Latin America and Asia.Of special note for hospitals and healthcare professionals—anesthesiologists and nurse...
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Preparing for the Financial After-Life

Depending on how much fun you're having in the OR each day, at some point, you may decide to "discontinue full time professional engagement." Please note that I did not use the "R" word or the "W" word. With so many negative connotations, including declining physical and mental abilities and boredom, retirement, in the traditional sense of the word...
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Negotiating Exclusive Hospital Arrangements: Strategies for Anesthesia Groups from AIAPM (Part 2)

SUMMARY The current healthcare environment requires anesthesia groups to demonstrate the value they bring to their institutions. Practices interested in keeping exclusive arrangements with their facilities should stay abreast of how they are perceived by patients, surgeons and administration; take steps to address any problems; deal quickly and eff...
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Anesthesiologists in the ICU: Economics and Other Considerations

Very few private anesthesia practices provide services in their hospitals' intensive care units (ICUs). The lack of enthusiasm for staffing the ICU relates directly to a perception that ICU coverage is not as profitable as operating room (OR) coverage. The entire Anesthesia Business Consultants client database only yields a few examples of private ...
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Negotiating Exclusive Hospital Arrangements: Strategies for Anesthesia Groups from AIAPM (Part 1)

In an anesthesia market rife with consolidation, mergers and acquisitions, the threat of shrinking payments due to new and complex payment programs, and general uncertainty on the regulatory and legislative fronts, the need for anesthesia groups to be solidly aligned with their hospitals is, at present, exceptionally strong. In a session at the rec...
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Effective Governance: Who Decides What?

Will Latham, MBA President, Latham Consulting Group, Inc., Chattanooga, TN Over the years, you may have heard the old saying that "Nothing happens until someone sells something." With regard to anesthesia groups, we have found that "Nothing (good) happens until the group has effective governance."Without effective governance: The group lacks the ab...
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Leverage Technology to Improve Your Anesthesia or Pain Practice: Nine Takeaways from AIAPM

SUMMARY Strategic business planning, including identifying your anesthesia group's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; analyzing the impact of external political, economic and other forces, and developing a mission and vision statement is essential for leveraging and making intelligent decisions regarding technology in the current env...
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Why Your Compliance Efforts May Be Worthless

It's a riddle almost as inscrutable as that of the Sphinx: How can a physician or pharmacist or facility owner be convicted of a federal crime for violating a state law? The answer is, unfortunately, quite simple, quite questionable and quite dangerous. It turns what many think about federal healthcare law compliance on its head.It signals that man...
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QR Versus QCDR for MIPS: Answers for Anesthesiologists and CRNAs That You Must Know for a Successful Practice

SUMMARY ABC recommends that participating anesthesiologists and CRNAs use a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) as opposed to a Qualified Registry (QR) to submit data to the Quality Payment Program's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). In our view, a QCDR is the reporting method most likely to ensure long-term success in MIPS. Although...
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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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