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MANAGEMENT & EXPERTISE

Should I Hire or Contract My Anesthesia Services?

Jeff LeBlanc, Chief Operating Officer

18 December 2016

Anesthesia is one of the most important and vital services a hospital or surgical center provides to its patients and clients.  While the actual service of providing anesthesia may seem simple, the business of anesthesia is unique and complex.

National trends have seen anesthesia groups in both urban and rural markets consolidated into regional and national anesthesia groups.  Regulations and governmental reporting have increased over time, and reimbursement has decreased while becoming increasingly complex.  This trend has hospitals and surgical centers struggling with this question: Should we hire or contract our anesthesia services?

Hospital and surgical center administrators are under constant pressure to reduce costs and maintain profits while concurrently providing a high level of service.  If these facilities choose to hire their anesthesia providers, they will also inherit those unique characteristics aforementioned about the business of anesthesia.  Some of these considerations include:

Increasing governmental regulations and reporting (PQRS, MACRA)

Unique reimbursement and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) models

Specialized employment models

Human resources and benefit packages for anesthesia providers

Highly compensated employees

(Anesthesiologists average $350,000/year, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists average $160,000/year)

These services will likely strain the Human Resources department director and the facility’s Chief Financial Officer.  The billing department will have to hire a specialist in anesthesia or outsource its RCM to a third-party manager.  A decision must be made on whether to place anesthesia providers as ancillary staff or within nursing services.

Many facilities contract their anesthesia services to an anesthesia management company. This allows for the facility to remove itself from all of the aforementioned pitfalls and enjoy peace of mind in knowing that the anesthesia department is receiving the attention it needs to operate as efficiently as possible. Most facilities that choose this model pay an annual stipend to the anesthesia group to provide services. While this removes the headache of managing the anesthesia department, it can sometimes result in the facility not having any knowledge or control of generated revenue through collections. If this is important to your facility, select an anesthesia management group capable of maintaining real-time, open books.

If your facility decides to engage an anesthesia management group, ensure that your business model is compliant. There are some anesthesia groups and facilities that are now under legal scrutiny after entering into the “Company Model” agreement.  This is, at best, a questionable practice and is considered outside of the law by many.  This model allows for the formation of a separate company, in which the facility owners and owners of the anesthesia group share in the profits of anesthesia.  This profit-sharing with the facility owners is done in exchange for the anesthesia group being awarded the anesthesia contract at the shared company’s facilities.

DPI operates using its core values as a guide in doing business with our clients. We allow for a unique approach called “Anesthesia on Demand.” This approach lets our clients customize their anesthesia management services based on their unique needs. We simplify the integration processes and involve our clients in all aspects of our services. Our clients can choose from a wide variety of options when determining their level of service from DPI. A few examples of our individual services include:

  • Full-service management of the anesthesia department, including staffing and RCM
  • Management of current anesthesia staff for a fixed fee
  • RCM services for the facility or current anesthesia group

Contact us today for a no-risk consultation. Whether your needs are large-scale or small, DPI can develop and execute a customized plan for success that will be beneficial for your patients, staff, and bottom line.

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