It was wonderful to attend an in-person conference again at the American Society of Anesthesiologist 2021 Conference! The Anesthesiology 2021 Exhibit Hall was buzzing with attendees and conversations surrounding lecture content. We caught up with several anesthesiologists to learn what was “top of mind” for them and below is a summary of our top three takeaways from what we heard:

  1. Many private practice anesthesiologists in attendance at Anesthesiology 2021 shared that in order to maintain their independence, they must proactively get involved with helping their facilities achieve objectives in the OR and throughout the hospital. We’ve all heard the stories of groups that have provided anesthesia services at a hospital or ASC for years and then are shocked when that facility puts out an RFP. It is essential for anesthesiologists to get involved with the C-Suite to understand what their goals and objectives are and what part anesthesia will play in the overall outcome. Considering that your career and contract are at the mercy of administration, obtaining an MBA is another option. Understanding the business side of healthcare will help to bridge the gap between administration and your practice so you can engage in administrative discussions in a meaningful way and assist in formulating decisions that ultimately affect your practice and aid in cementing the relationship with your hospital.
  2. Patient Satisfaction is key. Measuring Patient Satisfaction has moved beyond questions on a survey and into the realm of the overall patient experience. In an effort to measure patient satisfaction for anesthesia services, many practices enlisted the help of third-party vendors that issue surveys to patients with specific questions pertaining to anesthesia services. What we heard at Anesthesiology 2021 is that is no longer enough. Easing anxiety before surgery; managing pain post- surgery; providing comprehensive instructions on who to contact and what to do should a complication occur after leaving the hospital/ASC and providing clear easy-to-read statements with convenient payment options for balances, all play an integral role for anesthesiologists in improving a patient’s experience.
  3. Operating rooms are one of the highest revenue drivers for a hospital and anesthesia is positioned to play a key role in OR efficiency. One factor that can have a huge financial impact for the hospital is staff utilization and the ability to demonstrate areas of improvement with data is essential. For instance, moving from 55% to 80% staff utilization causes a dramatic shift in profitability. Let’s assume this shift occurs in a 22 solo anesthesiologist practice; that shift in utilization equates to almost $5 million dollars that could significantly reduce a subsidy and improve revenue. Accurate case duration estimates, high percentage of on-time starts and adequate pre-admission screening measures are more ways to improve efficiency.


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