American Society of Anesthesiology’s Annual Meeting

abeo will be in New Orleans for the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2014 annual meeting. This year the American Society of Anesthesiologists will be offering over 500 sessions and expecting over 15,000 attendees from all over the world.  Take some time to visit the Big Easy for lectures, hands-on workshops, networking and panel discussions. While you are in NOLA you can also enjoy the jazz, history and fine Cajun food the city has to offer.

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A Hole In One for abeo!

abeo is thrilled to be apart of the North Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists 2014 Annual Meeting in Pinehurst, NC. This year’s meeting will be held at the Pinehurst Resort, which has hosted some of the most prestigious golf tournaments in history. Having an annual meeting at a golf course sounds like a “hole in one” to us!

We at abeo are eager to introduce ourselves to North Carolina through our recent acquisition of MedOasis.  Look for abeo at Booth #25 in the Pinehurst Resort Exhibit Hall.

September 19 – 21, 2014
Location: Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC
Annual Meeting Website: http://www.ncsoa.com

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Extending the Role of Anesthesiologists in the Perioperative Surgical Home

The decision to launch the Perioperative Surgical Home model of comprehensive surgical patient care began when the American Society of Anesthesiologists realized that medically trained and licensed anesthesiologists are uniquely qualified to lead these PSH teams. This program serves as a national initiative, designed to improve the entire range of every surgical patient’s inpatient or out-patient experience.

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3 Ways Anesthesiologist Groups Can Help With Billing Solutions

Think tank groups are very effective ways for professionals to take steps toward workable solutions in their fields, especially when held at least once per month. Establishing a regular think tank promotes trust and a stable rapport between sharers. It is recommended that specialized groups meet at least once per month with sectioned off topics to be addressed, then save the last 10-15 minutes for general topics.

To establish the dynamic of your professional group meetings right away, set a key topic that will draw all available anesthesiologists, such as ways to help with billing solutions that will increase and generate more income.

Groups that have started with just these three topics alone, have improved hospital-anesthesiologist relations, and increased their billing revenues: [Read more...]


4 New Modifiers to Define Subsets of the -59 Modifier

CMS is establishing 4 new modifiers to define the subsets of the -59 modifier (Distinct Procedural Service).  The effective date is January 5, 2015.  It’s believed that it may be abusing the system in incorrectly bypassing NCCI edits. CMS will continue to recognize the -59 modifier but may selectively require a more specific modifier for billing certain codes at high risk for incorrect billing. [Read more...]


Using Multiple Entities in Your Corporate Asset Protection Planning

Written By: David B. Mandell, JD, MBA and Jason M. O’Dell, MS, CWM

In prior articles, we have described the potential tax benefits of using a multi-entity corporate structure – by using both an “S” and “C” corporation simultaneously.   For many ASCs, however, the strategy of using multiple entities goes beyond the tax and financial benefits of “S” and “C” corporations, as you will see here. In this article, we will explain additional multiple entity asset protection concepts that can help you better shield practice assets from lawsuits and other liabilities.

You may understand that it is a significant liability risk to put all of an ASC’s “eggs” into one basket. But what’s the solution? For your ASC it may be as simple as using multiple baskets. In fact, using multiple entities to run a business is quite common in many types of business outside of ASCs. Consider:

  • Most restaurant businesses use different entities if they expand beyond one location.
  • Most real estate developers or investors use multiple entities for different pieces of property.
  • Many owners of taxicabs use one entity to own each taxicab.

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The War on Bacteria: Physicians and Nurses Close Ranks to Fight

According to Science Daily, a Yale University study found that one person in a room adds 37 million new bacteria hourly. So, a facility with many rooms most likely has billions of bacteria doing whatever bacteria do.

Fortunately, most of these bacteria are friendly and do not harm patients – perhaps they subscribe to the adage, First, do no harm.” A fraction of these billions of bacteria are unfriendly to humans, some very much so. You would not think this was the case; these evil intentioned bacteria need the bodies of people to host them. Humans are such good hosts too, we feed them and shelter them, free. In turn they make us sick, sometimes very sick and even kill us.

One of the easiest places for patients to get an infection is in a health care facility. Infected people are in and out all day. They often are unaware of basic protection for others, such as hand washing and sneezing into their elbow. We imagine that staff are better than visitors in protecting patients, but they are busy, stressed and only human, so they are sometimes at fault too. [Read more...]


What Does The American Revolutionary War and Practice Governance Have In Common?


Good anesthesia practice management includes proper governance.  Practice governance must act to help an anesthesia practice succeed as a business and succeed clinically.  This post offers some perspective on when it is time to self-assess your governing body and why you should take these triggers seriously.

What are some triggers for self-assessment?

  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Growth of the practice
  • Influx of new and younger doctors
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Change in practice status of board member (active to retired or semi-retired)
  • Significant growth in the number of physicians or CRNAs
  • An increase in the number of practice locations
  • Incurring internal strife, due to inadequate governance system in place
  • Inability to make decisions in a timely and efficient way
  • Relying too heavily upon one or a few busy physicians to deal with non-clinical issues (at times, this is by choice)

The list is by no means exhaustive. It illustrates some of the internal and external changes that might precipitate governance review and rule changes.

Why your practice should yield to a self-assessment?

A conventional approach of ability, affability and availability is not enough to guarantee a successful anesthesia practice.  Especially not when increased competition for service locations, threat of hospital employment, group mergers, and acquisition discussions are all on the table.

The best board members are sensitive to what non-governing members think of how the practice runs. The best board members do not take the attitude that, “I was elected to do a job, let me do it.”  They are not like King George whose actions angered the colonists and led to the king’s overthrow, but more like Mayor Koch of New York City fame who would constantly ask constituents, “How’m I doing?”

America_Revolutionary_WarHere’s why you need to acknowledge the triggers above as an opportunity for self-assessment.

  1. So you can be proactive decision makers for your practice.
    Americans kept experiencing late deliveries from the British and frustration grew. There is great deal of risk in letting group members stew over a concern they’ve brought up and not being prepared to respond. Even worse, ignoring the concerns. The board should never be the last to recognize or respond to a trigger.
  2. So there is equal representation of individuals or divisions within the practice.
    Taxation without representation was a major pain point for the colonists.  Make sure the governing board is made up of board members that represent all major aspects of the group.  Triggers involving new divisions, locations, or agreements may be cause for adding or removing board members or a restructure altogether.
  3. So you maintain respectful control and cooperation over members of the practice.
    King George ignored warnings and ultimately lost all control over the colony. Your responsibility as leaders to your anesthesia practice is to guide, listen, and make decisions on behalf of the best interest of the group and it’s members. With that, respect and cooperation from the group will follow.

While some triggers may be more minor than others, consider everything as a whole.  Minor irritants may lead to enough dissatisfaction that to cause a mutiny.  Taking a close look at how well your practice is governing itself and being receptive to new ideas is crucial to the future of the practice.

It’s beneficial to have an anesthesia practice management company or in-house practice management team play particular notice to how well practice governance is taking place in your group.  A keen practice manager will be on the look out for triggers like the one’s mentioned above and have valid reasons to back up any suggestions being presented.







Recap on the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

In early July Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced provisions in the proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.  The proposed rule again failed to address the sustainable growth rate (SGR) repeal; a topic on the minds of not just anesthesia and pain practices but all physician groups.  CMS will accept comments until September 2, 2014.

Here is a recap on the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule changes that apply most directly to anesthesiologists and pain physicians, if you’ve not yet reviewed the provisions. [Read more...]


Keep Patients and Staff Away From Harm

Ambulatory surgical centers have well-deserved reputations as providers of high quality patient services in a safe environment. Nevertheless, patients entrusted to an ASC can and sometimes do have an adverse event happen to them.

Today, patients are more litigious than ever before. Establishing and following safety protocols for them and for staff is an imperative step. [Read more...]