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October 26, 2015

Don’t Let Anesthesia Expenses Frighten You This Halloween

Warning: this post contains Halloween humor.  You may want to put your costume on to really appreciate this one. 

Many hospital administrators determine that they are overpaying for anesthesia only after they become dissatisfied with the overall service.  They then begin to explore alternative solutions that, among other improvements, offer a lower price tag.  Essentially, they go trick-or-treating.

Conversely, you may be fully satisfied with your service but are STILL overpaying.  For instance, you may have a contract with an outside group of anesthesiologists while you employ the CRNAs.  The MDs bill for services and don't charge you a subsidy.  However you are indirectly paying one by incurring the CRNA expenses and not collecting the maximum billing revenues.  This is an expensive way to manage anesthesia....like making two trips to two different stores on opposite sides of town to get your Halloween candy, where the two stores don't honor each other's coupons. 

You may be overstaffed with more providers than necessary to cover a predictable number of anesthetizing sites.  This equates to over-distributing your candy to the first few trick-or-treaters.  What candy is left to cover additional visitors?  Do you turn off your house lights early?

Perhaps you have providers who are well liked and have been there a long time, so they haven't had an infusion of new leadership and best practices.  They've continued to perform anesthesia the same way (competently) but without healthy tweaks to the block schedule or attention to start times or focus on quality metrics that foster improved service.  This is very common among hospitals and is akin to giving out that same old leftover candy from 2004, when there are healthier, more fulfilling and better priced options in 2015. 

As you assess your budgets for next year, there may be an opportunity to reduce your anesthesia expenses while keeping the providers you like and maintaining the patient care you are known for.  Contact MedStream to learn how to avoid the tricks and snag the treats.  Happy Halloween!

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MedStream ensures excellence through anesthesia management to improve patient care and optimize financial performance. We deliver the clinical, operational and financial capability few anesthesia practice management firms can offer.

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