5 Practice Management Obstacles to Confront

5obstacles

Obstacle #1: Independence

Anesthesiologists in private practices continue to be plagued by the decision of whether to sell their practice to an anesthesia practice management corporation or remain independent. Those in a private practice setting fall into three categories.

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ASC 2015 Payment Increases Explained

ASC Payments to Increase 1.4 Percent in 2015

On Nov. 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the final payment and policy changes for 2015 for Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC).

Payment Changes

Each year, CMS adjusts the ASC rates based on the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U). For calendar year 2015, the CPI-U estimate is 1.9 percent. Deducting the Multifactor Productivity (MFP) projected at 0.5 percent from the CPI-U, the update factor for calendar year 2015 is 1.4 percent.

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As Industry Shuffles, Anesthesiologists Are Faced With a Dilemma: Evolve or Retire

Anesthesiologists Faced With Dilemma

As payers and many patients demand medical services at affordable rates, more and more surgical procedures occur in the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting. Now we are even seeing increasingly more complex procedures moving to ASCs. In addition, physician offices are becoming increasingly popular settings for procedures once reserved for hospital operating rooms. Thomas Schares, MD, chief of anesthesia at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Calif., and director of medical affairs for Somnia Anesthesia’s California and New Mexico operations recently commented in an interview with Becker’s Hospital Review:

“As techniques and medication continue to evolve and improve, opportunities increase to do more procedures outside the traditional hospital setting or even within the hospital setting but outside of the traditional operating room environment.”

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Quality and Regulatory Affairs: PQRS, Payment and the 2015 Physician Fee Schedule

Quality and Regulatory Affairs: PQRS, Payment and the 2015 Physician Fee Schedule

On Halloween last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the Final Rule for the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The rule outlines changes to policies and payment rates for services rendered on or after Jan. 1. The rule also impacts how physician anesthesiologists and pain medicine physicians participate in various programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System. [Read more…]

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10 Challenges and Opportunities for Hospitals in 2015

challenges

As T.S. Eliot once said: “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” Although hospital leaders may feel in over their heads most days, it helps to step back and take in the big picture. As detailed here, there are opportunities behind most obstacles facing hospitals in 2015. [Read more…]

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Anesthesia Advances to One of the Safest Modalities in Medicine

fear

Patients undergoing a medical procedure or surgery where they need general anesthesia have little to fear from the anesthesia. Amazing strides during the last 25 years has made anesthesia safer. In 1990 deaths related to anesthesia occurred in two patients per 10,000 procedures. Today, that number has fallen to one anesthesia-related death per 200,000 to 300,000 procedures. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, “a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than die from anesthesia-related complications. An article on WebMD reports that “not only have errors become relatively uncommon, but experts say that anesthesia is one of the safest areas of health care today.”

Taken together, new drugs, new technology, and a better understanding of how anesthetic agents metabolize, help anesthesiologists accurately figure the right amount of anesthesia for each patient they care for.

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EHR: To Charge or Not to Charge?

Survey: Many Providers Charging Patients for Access to Their EHRs

It is becoming standard practice for medical providers to charge patients for their electronic health records (EHR), with the price varying by provider. A survey published by the American Health Information Management Association and performed by Texas State University professor Kim Murphy-Abdouch, included responses from 313 executives across various healthcare settings.

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New Fee Collection Guidelines Benefit Low Income Patients

EHR-PAYMENT

The United States government has created a new fee collection rule to discourage nonprofit hosptials from trying to collect from low-income patients in an agreessive manner.

The hospitals must now provide a variety of assistance such as free care, discounts or some type of assistance. The nonprofit hospitals must also first verify that the patient is considered low income before they send the patient information to a credit agency, place a lien on their home, garnish their wages or file a lawsuit. [Read more…]

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Healthcare Needs Less Innovation and More Imitation

Less Innovation, More Imitation

Healthcare is infatuated and overemphasizes innovation.

Innovation is often a focal point in healthcare.

We’re awash in conferences, organizations proclaiming innovation as a core value, newly minted chief innovation officers, prizes for new, original ideas. But when organizations overemphasize creation of new ideas they can miss out on the power of imitation — copying existing approaches that actually work. Providers need to actively seek out good ideas that have been tried and refined, bring those ideas home, and adapt them for local use.

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The OIG 2015 Workplan: 2 Targets are Anesthesiology and Pain Management

udits from anesthesia providers will continue to be reviewed by investigators from the OIG.

Anesthesiology is on the CMS Office of Inspector General for the second year in a row. Following 2014, the 2015 Work Plan released in late October, 2014, notes that audits and data from anesthesia providers will continue review by investigators from the OIG. Additionally, pain management physicians have new codes that the OIG will start reviewing to insure compliance.

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