From October 21-23, I attended the Anesthesiology 2017 Conference in Boston, of which boasted record attendance this year. While you can find anything and everything anesthesia-related at this conference, which hosted more than 12,000 attendees, there was definitely a theme for those in private practices who were attending this year: where do we go from here?
Below are our three discussions heard throughout the conference and in networking interactions, takeaways that focus on answering this central question:
- Group Governance and Strategic Planning - Virtually every anesthesiologist or practice administrator I talked to voiced growing concerns on who will take over for the “OGs” (old guy/old gals) of the group. Some groups were having a hard time getting some of their newer partners to take the lead on group management, even with financial incentive. Some groups were simply unable to recruit. That being said, strategic planning initiatives are key for the future success of your practice.
- Contract Negotiations - With reductions in insurance payments and growing patient responsibility, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of negotiating contracts with payers and securing regular tiered increases.
- MIPS and APMs Preparation - When it comes to the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) it is not just about avoiding a penalty or receiving a bonus. Rather, the new rules and enforcements represent and promote a push toward patient-centric care that emphasizes patient satisfaction and cost reduction. Practices need to do more than just report: they need to engage and successfully measure quality. This is where self-audits and are now going to be more important than ever.
While many discussions were had at Anesthesiology 2017, it is clear that all providers need to play an active role in the success of an anesthesia practice. It takes a village to manage care effectively, and you need to have the right partners at your side.