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Anesthesia E-Alerts

Getting to Know You: Anesthesia Evaluates Its Surgeons

It has often been said that managing an operating room suite is like sitting on a three-leg stool where hospital administration represents one leg, the surgeons provide the second and anesthesia the third. Ideally, the administration defines the goals and objectives and recruits surgeons who are qualified and eager to produce. The problem is that […]

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Postoperative Pain Blocks: Taking Another Look

Astrophysicists had it right. Or so they thought. For decades, they held to certain assumptions about the early formation of the universe; but then came along the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which purportedly allows astronomers to look deeper into the past than what had heretofore been possible. And what the JWST is revealing is […]

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Pre-Authorization Nation: The Growing Challenge for Medical Practices

“Mother, may I?” was the familiar refrain from an old-school children’s game that required obtaining permission before proceeding forward. If you failed to first ask permission, you were sent back to the starting point. Standing in opposition to this concept is the modern meme that says it’s better to act now and apologize later than […]

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Fair Market Value for Anesthesia Practices

The notion of a fair market value (FMV) analysis is very common in real estate. The intent is to determine the price that a reasonable buyer should pay a qualified seller for a property. What does the concept have to do with anesthesia practices? The fact is that CMS guidelines require an FMV to ensure […]

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Medicare to Deny Anesthesia for Facet Injections

The trend continues. At least as it concerns Medicare, times are getting harder for anesthesia providers in the context of pain injection procedures. As you will recall, Medicare published a policy three years ago, advising that anesthesia for facet joint interventions would rarely be reimbursed. The policy was worded thusly: General anesthesia is considered not […]

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Cracking the Code: Qualifying and Quantifying the QZ Modifier

It was called the Enigma machine. During WWII, it was Germany’s fail-safe encryption device that would secure all communications between its fleet of U-boats and the naval high command. A coded message would go out and be received. The message could only be deciphered using the Enigma. If the allies could only get their hands […]

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The Challenge of Anesthesia Charge Capture

In contrast to medical billing in the main, the submission of anesthesia claims in particular is uniquely intricate because of the multiple ways in which reimbursement is determined—starting with what’s found on the anesthesia record. While every other specialist dictates a narrative report describing the services provided to the patient, the anesthesia provider documents multiple […]

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A Private Matter: New HIPAA Regulations and Rulings

No, there is not an explicit right to privacy listed in the Bill of Rights or the larger U.S. Constitution. However, the nation’s highest court has ruled that, while such a right is not expressly granted in that venerable document, there is an implied right to privacy based on the cumulative thrust of the several enumerated rights. […]

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Anesthesia Succession Planning: The New Old Challenge

Many anesthesia practices benefit from particularly strong leadership and management. Often, this is provided by an individual who is particularly well regarded by the membership and the medical community. Many practices put their trust in an individual who is qualified to guide the practice through the ever-evolving challenges of American medicine and speak for the […]

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