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Getting Paid for Anesthesia: Mastering the Challenges of Viability

Some of us are old enough to remember the days when anesthesia prtoviders got paid more or less based on what they decided to charge. It used to be that a favorable mix of patient insurance coverage (payor mix) and reasonably busy operating rooms was sufficient to ensure the financial viability of an anesthesia practice. There was a time when anesthesiologists talked about things like group formation, hospital contracts and managed care negotiations in the abstract as interesting options. Conventional wisdom held that a few persistent and disciplined secretaries would be sufficient to provide for the business requirements of the typical practice. Sadly those days of entrepreneurial opportunity have given way to a whole new set of practice management challenges. Survival and success now have much less to do with the favorability of the payor mix or even with the clinical qualifications of the providers; today’s practices must constantly monitor  and...
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Anesthesia: The Increasing Consolidation of our Industry

While the business of health care continues to evolve, there is perhaps no part of it changing faster than anesthesia. Numerous factors are quickly shifting the market towards an even more competitive and demanding landscape. The days of anesthesia groups simply providing clinical coverage in a hospital’s operating rooms are, for better or for worse, drawing to a close.As the expectations of hospitals for the types and levels of services to be provided by anesthesia are increasing, anesthesiologists now find themselves performing cases in non-traditional anesthetizing locations such as GI Suites, ECT and Electrophysiology. In addition, many anesthesiologists are expected to serve in roles not always seen as traditional for anesthesia, such as holding the broad responsibility for Peri-Operative Services, Pre-Surgical Testing processes, serving as leaders of hospital committees, etc.A continued shift in payor mix, to government payors that have long undervalued anesthesia services, has forced an increasing number of anesthesia...
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