BY TONY MIRA
For those of you who have baked for the last three months under an unrelenting summer sun, you can take a deep breath and relax, because fall is about to arrive. No more 105-degree temperatures and no more August drought. We can look forward to colorful leaves and an invigorating nip in the air. Seasonal change is a reminder that change, in general, is intrinsic in nearly all things. Over the next year or so, there will surely be changes in our personal lives and in our nation’s life. The eddies of time bring us to new and unexpected places.
Fall is a time that will bring changes to the nation’s healthcare industry. Each November, the government, via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), publishes its Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule for the following year. The PFS establishes a vast number of new rules by which medical providers must abide, as well as setting the payment levels for medical services provided to Medicare patients. Based on the PFS proposed rule published earlier this year, anesthesia providers may be facing a more difficult 2024 from a reimbursement perspective. But, as with nearly everything else, this, too, is subject to change.
There is always a possibility that a bill that is currently making its way through Congress will provide a permanent fix to the seemingly yearly reductions in the PFS and anesthesia conversion factors (CFs); or Congress could step in at the last minute with yet another band-aid bill that will mitigate the CF reduction for at least one year. Regardless of what the future holds, let us remain hopeful but also vigilant as we await the next changes soon to unfold. We will remain by your side, ready to provide expertise and solutions, come what may.
In the meantime, we have another slate of excellent articles to submit for your edification. Healthcare researcher Justin Vaughn brings a tale of woe concerning the current nursing shortage crisis being faced by many hospitals in the U.S. Is there a ray of hope? Read the article to find out! Consultant Mitch Mitchell really delivers with an article on the pros and cons of hiring outside consultants. Sounds like consultant Mitchell knows what he’s talking about! CEO Louis Carter dazzles us with a discussion on the hospital-physician dynamic and what hospitals should do to enhance that relationship. Company president Lyman Sornberger addresses the importance of collaboration as a key to financial health within the healthcare space. We then have health executive Jim Yarsinsky bringing us a helpful article that lays out the strategies for getting claims denials under the five percent mark. Finally, lab and path expert Michael Ferrie tells us the secrets of converting data into cash. Sounds like a 21st century alchemy lesson—but one that works!
We’re thrilled to have such eminent professionals contributing to this edition of Focus. We hope you enjoy their offerings and consider well their facts and recommendations. With change happening all around us, it is incumbent upon all of us to undertake a few changes, as well. Take care!