ASCs rely on anesthesiologists and anesthesia group partnerships to perform their procedures, but in some markets independent anesthesiologists are hard to find. By 2023, there is a projected shortage of 12,500 anesthesiologists nationwide.
The anesthesiology workforce is also changing. The Association of American Medical Colleges reported around 43 percent of active anesthesiologists are younger than 55 years old, meaning more than half of the currently practicing anesthesiologists are nearing retirement.
Medicare reimbursement for anesthesia dropped 2 percent from 2022 to 2023 while the demand for anesthesiologists increases, according to a recent report from VMG Health. Healthcare executives and practice administrators have faced challenges from the ever-changing reimbursement rates from Medicare and other insurance providers.
Securing anesthesiology services, particularly in the inpatient setting, has been an issue the past couple of years. These challenges have been exacerbated due to staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and an ever-increasing demand for anesthesia services.
ASCs’ anesthesia issues to heat up (beckersasc.com)