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HR Essentials for Anesthesia Groups: Keys to Finding and Keeping the Best

In the current competitive environment, long-term relationships between anesthesia groups and healthcare organizations are no longer the given they once were, and success for anesthesia practices hinges on their resilience and adaptability as market conditions and hospital requirements change. A cohesive, united group is more likely to weather the ...
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Transitioning to an Anesthesia EMR? Think System Modification First

​Although the majority of hospital-based ABC clients have implemented an electronic medical record, or plan to implement one in the near future, many of our ambulatory surgery center clients have been slower to move from paper to a digital platform. However, the transition is an inevitability for all practices. We review the essentials of a success...
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Keep Reporting MIPS Anesthesia Quality Data in 2019: Here’s Why

As noted in our December 17, 2018 eAlert, the budget neutrality required by MACRA for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—coupled with the high performance by the vast majority of participating anesthesia and chronic pain management groups in the Quality Payment Program (QPP)—means that providers within the specialty are unlikely to ear...
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Harnessing Technology to Improve Anesthesia Quality: Part 2

Despite some potential pitfalls, health information technology can be used to improve anesthesia quality in a multitude of ways. In a follow-up to last week's eAlert, we provide additional examples from a presentation on the use of HIT in anesthesia at PRACTICE MANAGEMENT™ 2019.In last week's eAlert, we discussed some of the ways that health inform...
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MACRA Financials for Anesthesia Practices: What We’ve Learned So Far

Bryan Sullivan Chief Quality Officer, Anesthesia Business Consultants, LLC, Jackson, MI On March 26, 2015, the House passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) with an almost unanimous vote. This decision set in motion a program that would change the way medical providers would be evaluated, and that would apply value-based med...
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Harnessing Technology to Improve Anesthesia Quality: Stories from PRACTICE MANAGEMENT™ 2019

​Though it is far from perfect, health information technology can be used in anesthesia to improve quality in a multitude of ways. We summarize some of the examples presented in a presentation by Mark A. Deshur, MD, MBA, of NorthShore University Health System at PRACTICE MANAGEMENT™ 2019.Anesthesia providers typically think of anesthesia informatio...
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Motivating Your Group to Deliver Value: Incentives That Work

Will Latham, MBA President, Latham Consulting Group, Inc., Chattanooga, TN There is a lot of talk in anesthesia and all of medicine and healthcare today about providing value.These discussions primarily focus on providing value to important constituents (such as a hospital) so that the anesthesia group can continue to work with the institution. But...
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Anesthesia Drug Prices and Shortages on the Rise: AHA Study

Soaring drug prices and persistent drug shortages during 2015-2017, including those for important anesthesia drugs, led one-fourth of United States hospitals to reduce staff to cope with the financial pressure, according to a study commissioned by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) and the American S...
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An Update on the ‘Company Model’ and Other Anesthesia Kickback Schemes

Kickbacks in healthcare are rarely (but not never) as blatant as an envelope of cash passed under the table. But they do exist in many forms and settings.When asked why he robbed banks, the notorious criminal Willie Sutton reputedly responded, "Because that's where the money is." Referring physicians, quite often but not always the owners of facili...
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Anesthesia Time and Field Avoidance: Changes to the 2019 RVG

Summary: The 2019 Relative Value Guide contains changes regarding field avoidance and anesthesia time that anesthesia practitioners should be aware of. In brief, the new guidance regarding field avoidance emphasizes limited airway access, and the new guidance regarding anesthesia time incorporates the concept of discontinuous time. ABC clients with...
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Motivating Your Group to Deliver Value: Incentives That Work

There is a lot of talk in anesthesia and all of medicine and healthcare today about providing value.These discussions primarily focus on providing value to important constituents (such as a hospital) so that the anesthesia group can continue to work with the institution. But anesthesia groups work with a variety of stakeholders, and each of these s...
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Adding Chronic Pain Management to Anesthesia Services? Think Metrics, Market and Incentives

Summary: Anesthesia practices interested in adding chronic pain management to their services should think carefully about the keys to long-term viability: clinicians who are fellowship trained; a market with a sufficient number of patients with conditions that would benefit from interventional care; in a crowded market, unique clinical offerings th...
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The 2019 MACRA/MIPS QCDR Quality Category: What Anesthesia and Pain Management Groups Need to Know

Summary: The budget neutrality required by MACRA and the high performance by anesthesia and pain management groups in the Quality Payment Program so far means that providers within the specialty are unlikely to earn significant bonuses by participating in MIPS in 2019. However, compelling reasons to continue reporting remain: 1) insurance carr...
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Will You Join Us In Helping the Homeless This Holiday Season?

Working Together to Raise Money to Provide 1,000 Coats!The MiraMed Family of Companies has created the MiraMed Circle of Warmth Campaign and partnered with an exceptional project called the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. The project hire...
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An Update on Evaluation and Management Coding for Anesthesia Providers

Summary: Although anesthesiologists do not bill for Evaluation and Management visits frequently, providers should be aware of the situations in which failure to use these codes can lead to lost revenue. We review these situations and other E&M coding issues of interest to anesthesia providers, including optional changes in E&M documentation...
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Independent Anesthesia Group Practice: A Short Manifesto

"Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. -Tim FerrisAnesthesia groups are facing great challenges in today's environment. I am sure you are aware of these various challenges so I won't belabor them.The question is: What do we do now?Some groups are throwing in the towel and selling out. It seems as though every few weeks another indep...
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How Will Price Transparency Impact Anesthesia Practices?

Summary: The movement toward increased healthcare price transparency is likely here to stay. Anesthesia groups need to be aware that patients are going to have increasing access to information about the costs of procedures, and that this information could conceivably influence activity levels and patterns at their facilities.In a previous eAlert, w...
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What is the Future of Private Anesthesia Practice?

Many anesthesia providers look at the changes taking place in the specialty and shake their heads. Today's practices bear little or no resemblance to practices of 10 or 20 years ago. Who could have envisioned groups with hundreds or even thousands of providers working for one entity?That unforeseeable future is today's reality. And what do we make ...
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Digital Strategy and Social Media Essentials for Anesthesiologists: 'Lead or Be Left Behind'

Summary: Social media can be a powerful tool to help you reach your professional goals, whatever they may be. We provide an overview of a presentation by Marjorie Stiegler, MD, on digital strategy for physicians at ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018.In 2013, 350 people on Twitter generated 220,000 "impressions" related to the ASA scientific meeting using the eve...
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Lessons Learned: Five Tips for Buying or Selling a Practice

Kathryn Hickner, Esq. Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz LLP, Cleveland, OH If you are anticipating buying or selling a practice during the coming months, you are not alone. The healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. In fact, it has been occurring for several years. Many transactional healthcare attorneys have negotiated and closed d...
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