There is a difference between providing anesthesia services and being an anesthesia management company. As more and more facilities are being penalized for not taking proper precautions to prevent patient infections and other complications considered by the government to be unavoidable, hospitals are at risk for losing millions of dollars in Medicare reimbursements. It is imperative for hospital executives to focus on ways to maximize revenue while continuing to improve quality of care in the ever changing and challenging world of healthcare. Anesthesia services make up one of the biggest opportunities where a review can prove to have an untapped source of additional financial benefits for these facilities.
Regardless of how impressive or elite a facility’s patient care may be, the complex side of anesthesia services is an area that is often overlooked. The reduction in the number of uninsured patients, payments and reimbursements, coupled with a growing number of costs from insurance plans that are sponsored by employers, is putting a heavy burden on health care facilities, such as ER’s and ambulatory centers, that has no relief in the near future.
The key to succeeding in this dynamic and challenging environment lies with-in the alignment of financial and clinical goals an organization has for its anesthesia department. This is sometimes a bigger challenge than one might think. Untangling the knot of information to find out of an anesthesia department is on the right track can be frustrating. To help get started on the right direction, here are some areas to consider when trying to determine if there is an opportunity to improve and find additional revenue in an anesthesia department.
1. Clinical Services
First and foremost, all anesthesia staff, whether it be clinical or non-clinical, must be compliant with all regulatory mandates to date. Make sure they are accredited, that they benchmark, report quality, follow best practices and continue to deliver at a high level of satisfaction.
2. Monitor Performance
Accountability is everything. Making sure there is an ongoing and transparent way to report on performance is key. Define Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s, and make sure that efficiency and effective practices keep operating rooms functioning at optimal levels.
3. “I Can’t Get No…Satisfaction”
The best way to ensure that patients receive satisfactory care is to make sure the people providing the care are satisfied with their working environment. Anesthesia services have the challenge of appeasing surgeons and nurses as well as the patients. It’s not just about skills on the clinical side; it is about bedside manner and post-operative experiences. Exceeding everyone’s expectations is key to obtaining and preserving business.
4. Effective Management
Anesthesia operations require a team that fully understands everything that needs to be done to make it a well-oiled machine. Managing elements such as staffing and credentialing is just as important as bigger picture efforts such as revenue and logistics. Making sure the house is in order and operating smoothly is the only way to ensure the OR does the same.
5. Effective Leadership
Leadership is not management; they are different. Leaders understand that running a department is not just about achieving the goals but getting everyone to buy into them. Collaboration, communication and confidence delivers results and trust.