The changing healthcare environment presents significant challenges for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), both in terms of patient care and practice management. When the goal is delivering better care at lower cost, addressing change requires the efficiency of complementing internal strengths with outside expertise. Anesthesia management is one area where turning to an expert partner can help ASCs manage effectively, and CarePlus Anesthesia Management has been at the forefront.
“When it comes to anesthesia, what we think is critical for ASC administrators and physicians is having access to professionals who understand anesthesia and are capable of delivering it in a safe, cost effective, efficient manner that allows the rest of the team to focus on the patient and the procedure itself,” says CarePlus CEO Dan Kohl. “With anesthesia well covered, ASCs can deliver great patient care, and take care of the business side as well.”
Kohl identifies areas where a great anesthesia management partner can add value as ASC leaders grapple with five challenges of change:
- Finding quality partners
- Wrestling with changing regulations
- Navigating the shifting sands of reimbursement
- Learning from data
- Remaining focused on excellent patient care
Whatever It Takes
Finding quality partners, Kohl believes, comes down to a shared goal of taking good care of the patient. “From an anesthesia perspective, you want a partner who has the desire to serve, who recognizes their role is to take great care of patients, and who will do everything to ensure the patients are not concerned on the day of service, not worried leading up to that day, and clear on what to expect,” he explains. “At CarePlus, we make that happen with a dedicated recruiting team who can dig into a large database to find just the right anesthesia provider, one who fits the specific need and does whatever they can to be supportive and ensure that patient’s comfort and safety.”
Kohl says leaders should consider both tangible and intangible traits in seeking anesthesia providers.
“I think the intangible piece is finding that provider that truly fits with your staff and functions seamlessly as part of the team,” he says. “On the tangible side, it’s making sure the anesthesia provider possesses the skills you need: Can they do blocks? What experience have they had with the specific procedures you’re doing? I think that’s the value we bring, because we verify that match, we gather their credentials, we go through the process of making sure their skills are precisely what you need.”
Changing regulations and shifting reimbursement solutions are challenging ASC leaders outside the operating room today, and the right anesthesia management partner can be a valued resource for addressing those external pressures as well. Kohl sums up the value CarePlus offers leaders as simply “peace of mind.”
He explains: “ASC leaders don’t have to be concerned, because our people are on top of what’s happening from a regulatory perspective. We make sure that they understand, based on the type of center they’re working in, the regulatory requirements, and the expectations around anesthesia. In addition, we have a clinical director with a significant amount of expertise who our providers can call should a question arise.”
Similarly, when it comes to reimbursement, Kohl says CarePlus works closely with ASC leaders to help inform decision-making. “The complexity around reimbursement is changing every day, so we work closely with our partners to understand what is happening.”
Analysis Drives Excellence
Another pervasive change faced by ASCs is the explosion of data available to inform decision-making. Making sense of it all can be challenging. When it comes to anesthesia management, CarePlus helps clients leverage a variety of analytics to drive their businesses forward.
The resulting discussions improve ASC efficiency, he says, driving key learning and adjustments. “Based on shared analytics, we’ve changed practice or procedure, approach or timing, to make sure we’re being a good member of the team and assisting with keeping the patient safe and comfortable,” Kohl says.
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