BY TONY MIRA
Managing an anesthesia practice in the current environment can be quite challenging, which explains why so many independent practices are either choosing to merge with larger entities or relinquishing their independence to become hospital employees. Given a manpower shortage and the impact of growing Medicare and Medicaid populations, too many anesthesia practices are struggling with the same challenge to generate enough revenue to recruit and retain a sufficient number of qualified providers to meet the service expectations of the facilities they serve. As students of the specialty we at Coronis we have always been dedicated to exploring and assessing strategies that will allow our clients to achieve their clinical and financial success. To that end, this issue of the Communiqué includes six insightful articles by industry experts that should help you explore new opportunities and avoid current risks.
Our very own Justin Vaughn leads us off with a cautionary tale of medical mistakes. His is a big picture view of adverse events that can greatly impact the reputation of hospitals and anesthesia practices. He shares four particularly useful strategies that groups can implement.
We often remind our clients that anesthesia has more and better data about what actually happens in the operating rooms and delivery suites than any other source. The challenge is knowing how to use this data effectively. Jody Locke’s article is a particularly interesting review of surgeon production patterns. He shares some very practical advice about ways to enhance the relationship between anesthesia departments and administration.
Mark Weiss, JD is always sharing his perspective on legal issues affecting our clients. There has been much discussion of the Company Model over the past few years. It is a tricky topic. His discussion of a recent OIG opinion sheds some valuable light on the potential perils.
Corporate practice of medicine laws have been established in 30 states. They can be especially challenging to today’s Friendly Physician model organizations. Kathryn Hickner, Esq. addresses the particular challenges associated with physician organizations that are owned and managed by non-physicians.
Ever since the specialty of anesthesia first started to encourage the notion of the pre-surgical home and the importance of having anesthesia providers take more responsibility for the management of patients through the entire continuum of the surgical experience, practices have been trying to figure out how to make it a reality. The most common approach has involved the establishment of pre-surgical testing clinics. Most would agree they enhance the quality of clinical care; the challenge is their economics. Rita Astani, our president of anesthesia services, explores the arcane world of Evaluation and Management codes in an effort to put things in perspective.
We are especially proud of this Communiqué and welcome your comments and feedback. We are especially interested in your suggestions for future topics.