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Three Steps to a High Reliability Anesthesia Drug Delivery System and Medication Safety Improvement: ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2017

SUMMARY Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists should apply the principles and practices of high reliability industries, including aviation and nuclear power, in reducing medication errors in their institutions' anesthesia drug delivery systems, according to an anesthesiology and critical care medicine chair who spoke at ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2017. In ...
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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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A Refresher for Anesthesia Practices on Business Associate Agreements: Are Your Contracts in Order?

SUMMARY Covered entities, including anesthesia practices, are required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to execute a contract with business associates to safeguard the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). As the holder of the PHI, anesthesia groups should make sure they understand ...
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ASA, Anesthesia QCDRs Join Forces on MIPS Quality Measures

SUMMARY The American Society of Anesthesiologists and the anesthesia Qualified Clinical Data Registries, including ABC's QCDR, have formed a QCDR Roundtable to discuss and work on common interests related to measure development and implementation for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). ABC encourages anesthesia groups participating in ...
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The National Practitioner Data Bank: What You Need to Know...

Neda M. Ryan, Esq. Corporate Compliance Attorney, ABCThe National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) was established under Title IV of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 and has been operational since September of 1990. The NPDB impacts both anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) as certain entities are requir...
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What Anesthesia Providers Should Know About Emergency Preparedness, Mass Casualty and Trauma

SUMMARY The mass shooting in Las Vegas reminds us of the vital role of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists in large-scale emergency preparedness and disaster response. We present a selection of items on this topic, including an OR Mass Casualty Checklist developed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, a comprehensive must-read cha...
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Phoenix Project: Reconstructing a Local Group from the Ashes of Its Predecessor

Dateline PhoenixPhoenix. No, not the city in Arizona, but the mythical bird. The one that springs to life from the ashes of its predecessor.Anesthesia groups, like birds, have a life cycle. Birth to death. Formation to failure.The group's founders hatch the concept and bring it into existence. The group obtains business traction in its infancy and ...
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Anesthesia Practitioners: Expand Your Safety Role to Reduce OR Greenhouse Gas Emissions

SUMMARY The public health impact of the environmental pollution created by the healthcare sector is commensurate with the scale of hospital deaths due to preventable medical errors, recent research shows. The operating room is an environmental hot spot and major generator of waste, and the greenhouse warming potential of inhaled anesthetics is...
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Building Professional Resilience: Strategies For Anesthesia Practitioners

Brianna Barker Caza, PhD Associate Professor, Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada M. Teresa Cardador, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor, School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL It is becoming all too common for physicians to report feeling overwhelmed by...
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News for Anesthesia Groups: ACA Repeal, ADRs, Opioid Prescribing and Medicare ID Cards

SUMMARY This eAlert offers news briefs of interest to anesthesia practices on: the Republicans' latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; the new Medicare ID number initiative and what practices should be doing now to prepare; a primer on additional documentation requests (ADRs) and why a timely response is essential; and c...
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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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CMS Emergency Waivers Help Hospitals and Anesthesia Providers Care for Hurricane-Affected Patients

SUMMARY The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued several waivers and modifications of certain federal healthcare program requirements to enable beneficiaries impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey to receive emergency and other care and to allow providers to be reimbursed for their services. It behooves all anesthesia ca...
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Why Your Compliance Efforts May Be Worthless

Mark F. Weiss, JD The Mark F. Weiss Law Firm, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CAIt'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 tu...
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A Compliance Reminder for Anesthesia Groups: Check Monthly OIG Work Plan Updates

​SUMMARY The Office of Inspector General has begun issuing monthly rather than yearly or biannual updates on its Work Plan. Anesthesia and pain groups should become familiar with the new format on OIG's website and subscribe to the agency's Work Plan updates to stay informed. The 2017 Work Plan includes two anesthesia-related items: non-covere...
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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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Anesthesia Services and ‘Surprise’ Billing Laws: How Are Practices Managing?

SUMMARY Comprehensive laws restricting balance billing have been passed in several states, and many more states have introduced legislation. In general, anesthesia groups have adapted by aligning with their facilities' contracting strategies and in-network profiles; however, strategies for anesthesia practices remain diverse and market-specifi...
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Your Hospital Issues an RFP for Anesthesia Services: Now What?

Robert Johnson, MBAPrincipal, Enhance Healthcare Consulting, Aventura, FLRobert Stiefel, MDCo-Founder and Principal, Enhance Healthcare Consulting, Aventura, FLAs a national anesthesia consulting firm, we are seeing hospitals and healthcare systems change or attempt to change their incumbent anesthesia groups with increasing frequency. A recent sur...
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The ACA’s Impact on Anesthesia Practices: What We’ve Learned

SUMMARY A review of data in selected markets indicates that, while the impact of the ACA varies significantly in different parts of the country, anesthesia practices have, on the whole, fared well with health reform. Despite the slow but steady increase in Medicare patients, the net yield per unit continued to rise for most ABC clients from 2012 to...
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Hospital CEO Turnover: What You Must Know and Do to Protect Your Anesthesia Group

You and I are sitting in the hospital boardroom directly across from the hospital's CEO.We're negotiating the last few points on the renewal of your group's exclusive contract.Perhaps we're pushing for something minor in the scope of things, but it's still important to your group. For example, it could be for continuing the funding of the surgeon s...
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Anesthesia Groups, Take Note: Data Breach Website Helps Providers Research and Report

SUMMARY The Department of Health and Human Services' data breach portal no longer lists data breaches indefinitely, but rather, archives incidents once they have been resolved. The agency also has introduced a revised Health Breach Reporting Tool that connects providers and patients with extensive resources and assistance with reporting and prevent...
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