The Secret Ace up Your Sleeve – Using Your Anesthesia Billing Vendor for Stipend Negotiations

By Joe Laden, Vice President of Client Management

Many anesthesiology practices rely on financial support from their hospital. This is commonly due to poor payer mix, underutilization of operating rooms and/or intensive in-house call requirements.

Requests for hospital financial support must be backed up with solid information showing that anesthesia personnel costs based on hospital coverage requirements exceed anesthesia fee-for-service revenue.   The reasons for anesthesia patient revenue inadequacy must be proven.

Hospital administrators know how much revenue and profit is achieved from their operating rooms, but may not know how little anesthesia patient revenue is available to the anesthesia group due to operating room underutilization and poor anesthesia payer mix.   Many periods of required coverage -such as nights, weekends, and holidays- yield no patient revenue to support personnel salaries, overtime and call pay.

Because start time, stop time and case minutes are captured in the anesthesia billing system, the anesthesia billing company can produce useful time-based reports.   For example, graphs and charts showing billed anesthesia time by the hour of the day and day of the week.  This information can be matched with contractual coverage requirements to illustrate where the hospital requires anesthesia personnel coverage but provides no paying cases to support the cost of coverage.

A billing company with a strong background in anesthesia practice management can help an anesthesia group craft a request for financial support, supplying information from the anesthesia group’s historical billing data.

Providing adequate financial support to its anesthesia group in need of assistance benefits the hospital because it can maintain uninterrupted high-quality surgical and obstetric anesthesia coverage.  In turn, the anesthesia group is benefited by its ability to pay anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists fair market value wages.

Due to the aging population and advances in surgical techniques, the need for anesthesia services is increasing rapidly, but without concomitant increases in anesthesia reimbursement by Medicare, Medicaid, and other government payers.  Hence, the rising need for hospital support of anesthesiology groups.

A good billing company should be able to assist you with your next hospital financial support request.

After your request for new or increased financial support is approved, your billing partner will provide the necessary customized reports to the hospital to justify the support on an ongoing basis.

Joe Laden is the Vice President of Client Management, AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions, and a nationally recognized anesthesia expert and speaker, working with anesthesia practices across the country to improve their billing and coding operations.

While attending ANESTHESIOLOGY 2019 visit AdvantEdge at booth #951 in the exhibit hall to learn how AdvantEdge can be your ace up the sleeve. Clients that have signed since connecting with AdvantEdge at Anesthesiology 2018 have increased revenue by more than 8.7%.

AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions is a national top 10 medical billing company that provides billing, coding, and revenue cycle management solutions for anesthesia practices since 1989.   If you have questions about how AdvantEdge can improve your anesthesia billing and coding so that you are collecting every dollar that you’re legally and ethically entitled, please call us at 877-501-1611 or email info@ahsrcm.com

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