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Anesthesia Business Consultants Shares Thoughts From the Advanced Institute for Anesthesia Practice Management: Securing Anesthesiology’s Future, and Safeguarding its Present

Anesthesia Business Consultants (ABC), a leading provider in billing and practice management for the anesthesia and pain management specialty, is pleased to announce that the 2014 Advanced Institute for Anesthesia Practice Management (AIAPM) conference was a success and shares thoughts regarding the conference.

Speaking on the timeliness of the topics presented, Tony Mira, President and CEO of ABC, states, “While we are all trying to understand how the landscape is evolving for anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and anesthesia groups, keeping our eyes on traditional practice management issues such as compliance remains as important as ever. Similarly, we must maintain a dual focus on the big picture of system and organizational changes, on the one hand, and on the day-to-day requirements of providing and being paid for anesthesia and pain medicine services, on the other. Our field of vision has to be both longitudinal and latitudinal.”

ABC partnered with Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Medical Business Solutions to present the AIAPM. ABC’s own Karin Bierstein, JD, MPH, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Practice Affairs served as Course Director for the conference. Ms. Bierstein says, “One of the frankest talks on system evolution at this past weekend’s AIAPM was that of Howard Greenfield, MD of Enhance Healthcare.” Dr. Greenfield, discussing The Anesthesia Workforce of the Future, drew the connection between telemedicine and new staffing models, stating that “Like the tele-ICUs, someday tele-ORs may have anesthesiologists rotating through tele-control room assignments, with two-way video and audio connectivity to each OR or procedure suite” and that “The tele-anesthesiologist could oversee and advise in the care of multiple rooms in a cost-effective manner. He or she could instantaneously respond to a query, even switch attention from room to room on a minute-by-minute basis.”

It is worth noting that tele-OR surveillance is already here. The AlertWatch system integrates inputs from the physiologic monitor, the lab, the AIMS and the patient’s history and physical and displays the information as icons of the organs being monitored. “Just as the multifunction monitor in modern aircraft uses multiple sources of data to feed algorithms continuously searching for potential problems, AlertWatch does the same with the patient’s medical data being updated every 10 seconds,” according to Kevin K. Tremper, MD, PhD, FRCA, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, who states further that “The algorithms are based on the latest literature and reported standards, e.g., SCIP measures. In the future, systems like this may allow tele-OR as a continuous electronic consult. Preliminary results of the use of this system, developed at the University of Michigan [with support from ABC], were reported at January 2014 meeting of the Society of Technology in Anesthesia.”

Organizational strategies—joining an Accountable Care Organization, merging with another group, selling the practice to a national company or to a private equity firm—were the focus of multiple lectures at the AIAPM. The stronger the group, the more options it is likely to have, including the option of remaining independent. Potential partners are looking for the same things, starting with solid leadership, high quality and value, productive relationships with hospitals and surgeons and sustainable case-mix and payer mix.

William Britton, MBA of Cross Keys Capital, speaking on Anesthesiology Acquisitions: Is Your Practice a Candidate for Acquisition by a National Firm or Private Equity Group, presented an outline for “Making Your Group More Attractive to Potential Buyers” that would apply to any practice seeking to thrive and grow.

As we all know, the importance of compliance cannot be overlooked, or indeed overstated. The Affordable Care Act increased the government’s auditing capability, expanded fraud and abuse laws, increased resources to combat fraud and provided for the mandatory return of overpayments, as noted by Neda Ryan, Esq. of Clark Hill in her talk on Government Audit and Investigations: How to Protect Your Practice When the Government Comes Knocking.” In 2013, the government recovered $4.3 billion and opened 1,013 new criminal and 1,083 new civil healthcare fraud investigations.

The AIAPM offered multiple presentations on coding and billing, on documentation and on other compliance issues including EHR cloning. Kelly Dennis, MBA of Perfect Office Solutions offered a complete checklist for conducting an internal practice audit in her discussion Auditing for Compliance that attendees found particularly helpful.

The more than 300 attendees at the AIAPM received much additional valuable information during the three days of plenary and breakout sessions. Next year’s conference will be held on April 17-19. We hope you will mark your calendars and consider the benefit of participating.

About Anesthesia Business Consultants

ABC, established in 1979, is the nation’s largest billing and practice management company dedicated to the complex and intricate specialty of anesthesia and pain management. ABC is the developer of the premier perioperative anesthesia platform, OneSourceAnesthesia, the mobile systems architecture that supports the entire perioperative process. OneSourceAnesthesia provides patient portals, pre-admission testing tracking, intra-operative documentation, and anesthesia quality measures tracking. Our revolutionary F1RSTUse secures the benefits of Meaningful Use through complete EHR. The heart of our offerings is ABC’s proprietary practice management software, F1RSTAnesthesia™. ABC’s newest tool, F1RSTAnalytics™ offers data prowess, providing the data to aid in operating your anesthesia practice as an effective clinical organization and successful business. Our solutions provide accurate, prompt and complete billing and revenue cycle management. Our exclusive focus improves your cash flow and profitability. Visit ABC at: www.anesthesiallc.com.

About Tulane University Health Sciences Center

Tulane University Health Sciences Center will serve as the ACCME-accredited provider whose current status is Accreditation with Commendation. Tulane University’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) program was established in the early 1970s and as one of the earliest accredited providers, dedicates itself to offering educational activities that provide health care professionals access to a system of lifelong learning.

About Medical Business Solutions, LLC

Medical Business Solutions, LLC (MBS), is a physician-based full time consulting firm specializing in the field of anesthesia billing and management. Areas of expertise include billing, compliance and practice management. Charles Goodman, MD, President of MBS, is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist with over 15 years of clinical experience at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, DE. Dr. Goodman served for ten years as Chief Financial Officer of Anesthesia Services, PA, one of the largest anesthesia groups in the country. In 2000, Dr. Goodman left clinical practice and formed Medical Business Solutions, LLC, an independent consulting firm offering services to anesthesia practices nationally. Medical Business Solutions developed the annual Anesthesia Billing and Practice Management Seminar in 2000 and Dr. Goodman has been serving as the course director for the past 14 years.

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