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Pandemic in the Rear View and a Manpower Shortage Ahead

April 19, 2024

BY TONY MIRA, Interim CEO, Coronis Health, Jackson, MI

As we compile the articles for our quarterly newsletter, Communiqué, we try to identify the most significant trends affecting our clients and the specialty of anesthesia. The good news is that the pandemic is now disappearing in the rearview mirror. The bad news is that the national anesthesia manpower shortage is affecting most of our clients. The evolving impact of payer mix changes and hospital administration scope creep is making it increasingly difficult for practices to survive without substantial subsidies. When we started in this business, our focus was simply on maximizing collections for the valuable services our clients were providing. Now we are increasingly helping them to manage their practices as businesses in an even more competitive environment. Data management is essential, and we are helping our clients use their databases to great advantage to negotiate contracts that allow them to succeed and thrive. 

One of our senior vice presidents, Dave Platt, MPA, Senior Vice President, Anesthesia for Coronis Health, provides a very practical strategic roadmap for the process of renegotiating a service agreement in his article, Anesthesia Stipend Requests in Today’s Environment. His years of experience managing anesthesia practices across the country make this an invaluable tool for those preparing for their next sit-down with administration. 

We always rely on our legal advisors, Kate Hickner, Esq. and Marc Weiss, JD, to keep us abreast of the changing legal environment for practice. Kate shares her timely review of new reporting requirements for businesses in Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements. The good news is this should not adversely affect most of our clients. Mark shares his interesting take on a common practice challenge in his article, Sure, Dr. Chuck Was A Creep, But Did He Kill Your Facility Agreement… or Worse? In it, he explores the effect of an individual provider’s adverse performance in terms of the group’s hospital contract. 

Coronis Health’s own Jody Locke, MA, Vice President of Anesthesia and Pain Practice Management Services, has been monitoring the evolution of anesthesia practice management for years and shares five key metrics that practices should be tracking to remain viable in the current environment. While we provide lots of useful management information to our clients on a regular basis, his five metrics offer a useful framework for making sense of key trends.

We are also very pleased to feature an article from one of our clients, Michael Bronson, MD, from Mission Viejo Anesthesia Consultants, Inc. in Mission Viejo, CA. As an active member of his group’s management team, he shares their invaluable experience with a new management option for their staff in his article, Enhancing Anesthesiology Practices: The Benefits of AnesthesiaGo.

Kelly Dennis, MBA, ACS-AN, CANPC, CHCA, CPMA, CPC, CPC-I of Perfect Office Solutions gets many coding questions for anesthesia practice managers and administrators. Her Q & A piece, Coding Conundrum for Labor Epidurals, provides a fascinating insight into the correlation between the evolution of clinical practice and current coding conventions. She definitely keeps us all on track.

As a bonus, we received a very practical guide to the challenge of managing a team in the current environment. Kai Williams, MHRM, Chief Human Resources Officer for Coronis Health, offers us Mastering the Hybrid Workflow: A Symphony of Communication, Performance, and Inclusivity. There are some good ideas here. 

We hope you enjoy these pieces and find them useful as you manage your practice through the turbulent waters of American healthcare. We are always interested in your response to these diverse perspectives. Feel free to share other topics of particular interest to you.

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