The idea that you might outsource anesthesia services to someone else can sound as risky as giving up the keys to your hospital and letting anyone in. We get it!
But you probably wouldn’t think twice about bringing in an electrician to repair your hospital security alarms. Experts are the go-to choice for security, peace of mind, and assurance of a job well done.
However, we believe your hospital board and stakeholders will want to hear about the watertight, concrete benefits you can gain from outsourcing anesthesia. Most boards are averse to risk, and that’s good.
So – in this article, we’ll offer five sound reasons why there are financial, operational, and tactical benefits from working with anesthesia management companies – as well as peace of mind from buying in their expertise. We’ll cover:
- Reduced overheads
- Economies of scale
- Flexibility to match patient volume and demand
- Reduced liability and exposure to lawsuits
- Specialized expertise on tap
Let’s go through them in turn to help you consider if you want to outsource anesthesia this year!
1 Outsource Anesthesia to Reduce Your Overheads
Outsourcing reduces your staffing overheads.
When you outsource anesthesia, in addition to improving efficiency in the OR, you reduce staffing overheads because the service brings in highly trained specialty staff.
You therefore don’t have to employ and train these staff permanently in the face of fluctuating demand and patient throughput.
In addition, staffing recruitment, retention, and compliance and operating costs for the group are borne by the outsourced service and not the hospital.
2 Outsource Anesthesia For Economies of Scale and Better Pricing
In the current economic climate, anesthesia service providers often have access to a larger pool of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists than your hospital does.
However, the good news is that by pooling their resources, these providers also negotiate better prices for supplies and equipment and take advantage of economies of scale. This reduces the cost to you.
Moreover, if you’re one of the hospitals threatened with not surviving due to the California AB5 regulations that affect your employment of CRNAs, this cost-effectiveness can be part of the solution that saves your facility. AB5 will not affect the hospital, and the regulation compliance is the responsibility of the outsourced group.
(If you’d like to know more about how to solve the CRNA problem, contact us and let’s talk.)
3 Match Patient Volume and Demand With Flexible Anesthesia Services
It’s difficult to forecast the correct staffing levels in terms of anesthesiologists and CRNAs in any hospital. In California, it’s now become even more difficult because of those AB5 regulations.
Will you employ CRNAs and pay them even when they’re not needed at slack times?
Or will you periodically have empty ORs and your anesthesia team taking extra coffee breaks?
Joking apart, scaling up or down is a natural part of the healthcare industry. But the situation can be financially unsettling. And it’s certainly challenging when looked at as a whole:
You scale up to meet need during times of
- increased elective surgery,
- natural disasters,
- emergency situations,
- the flu season,
- a pandemic,
- aging demographics, or
- increased demand for new procedures.
But you scale down when
- the weather is clement,
- changes to insurance coverage and reimbursement rates deter some patients,
- job losses and inflation affect prospective patient priorities, or
- technological advances shorten hospital stays.
Considering this constantly undulating territory, the flexibility to outsource anesthesia to suit your exact needs suddenly becomes more attractive!
4 Outsource Anesthesia For Reduced Liability and Exposure to Lawsuits
Would you prefer to reduce your liability exposure?
OK, we admit that sounds like an unprofessional get-out clause! So let’s rephrase it as: “Would you love to have an extra layer of accountability to give you peace of mind about your operating room?”
Obviously, yes! When you outsource anesthesia to an external provider, they bring their own medical team, equipment, and resources to your facility. This means you don’t have to be solely responsible for errors or oversights on the part of their personnel.
Additionally, external anesthesia providers are accountable for following specific protocols outlined by your facility in order to ensure patient safety.
This is your added layer of accountability that further decreases your liability – while also improving patient care standards and outcomes, as you intend.
In the (unlikely) event of a malpractice claim, you’ll find you have reduced your exposure to possible lawsuits.
5 Access Specialized Expertise When Outsourcing Anesthesia
We mentioned earlier about specialist staff and equipment. All anesthesia provision is specialized, of course, but for some complex surgeries you may not have the right specialties in-house.
- Some procedures require the patient to be in an unusual position (e.g. spinal surgery). Specialized anesthesia techniques, such as regional anesthesia or deep sedation, may be required to manage this.
- Other procedures require a high level of precision and control of the patient’s vital signs (e.g. brain or heart surgery). Anesthesiologists and anesthetists need specialized training and experience in these types of surgeries.
- Major orthopedic procedures to remove tumors can cause significant blood loss. You need specialist anesthesia techniques (such as hypotensive anesthesia) to reduce blood loss and minimize complications.
If you add in patients who have complex needs on admission – such as cardiovascular, respiratory, or renal disease – you’re looking for a wide range of specialties among your anesthesia staff!
When you outsource anesthesia services for your hospital, you’re accessing whatever anesthesia specialist you need at that moment for your surgery list.
This means you
- save on costs year-round by resourcing only what you need, and
- open your doors to a wider variety of procedures – which keeps your demand higher than it might otherwise be and supports your finances.
Meridian Medical Solutions Can Make Your Changeover to Outsourced Anesthesia Easy
Have we convinced you about the hard benefits of anesthesia outsourcing? We want the best for you.
At Meridian Medical Solutions, we pride ourselves on offering 70% labor cost savings, an increased quality of service – with exceptional processes, support, and talent – and the ability to scale fast to whatever you need.
And, uniquely, we’re transparent about costs. Our highly skilled providers are dedicated to serving both your finances and your patients when you outsource anesthesia to us. Let’s talk about what Meridian can bring to your facility!