Debunking Three Myths About Anesthesia MSOs: #1 They Use Their Employees, Not Yours




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Thanks to disruptive technologies, shortages of particular skill sets, and a host of other factors, businesses today are having a tough time meeting the demands of the ever-shifting and complex marketplace. The same holds true in the healthcare sector, where hospitals, surgery centers and group practices are challenged to make sense of the growing compliance and regulatory issues that have resulted from the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Like their counterparts in all the other business verticals, healthcare organizations of all types are struggling to keep pace with all this change, looking to third parties or managed service organizations (MSOs) to extend and enhance in-house capabilities. Yet it seems that what comes to mind whenever a managed service organization (MSO) enters the picture is a wholesale replacement of current staff or deconstruction of the current department in question.

This is particularly true in the case of anesthesiology. Truth be told, the typical retention rate among existing staff is between 80 and 90 percent. Does this sound like a house-cleaning? Naturally, there’ll be some attrition, but that would occur regardless of whether or not a hospital uses an MSO.

According to a RAND Corporation report*, some 54 percent of states reported a shortage of anesthesiologists; an even higher percentage found the same for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).  Those statistics are compounded by the fact that it is extremely expensive to recruit, hire and train qualified providers.

If you think about it from a strategic business perspective, it simply wouldn’t make sense to replace existing talent. Why on earth would anyone forfeit a quality staff when the prospects of finding an adequate replacement don’t appear promising? Wouldn’t it make more sense to enhance a strong anesthesiology team with resources from an MSO?

Anesthesiology has progressed far beyond the practice of administering medication. The requirements set down by the new regulations demand the tracking and reporting of a whole host of variables around patient care. The business side of anesthesiology is straining the clinical side, and that is not a good thing. Having staff that can address the administrative operations of an anesthesiology department, freeing the clinicians to tend to their core business (delivery of anesthesia) will not only improve the quality of care, it will also result in greater patient and surgeon satisfaction.

Staffing your department doesn’t mean using only in-house employees (W-2). Independent contractors or private corporations (PCs) can provide the same high-quality performance.  Whatever the clinician’s employment status, it doesn’t mean s/he won’t be part of your cohesive, collaborative team. The truth is, working with an experienced MSO that will bring to bear the right mix of technology, staff, administrative resources, and reporting, will ensure that your organization delivers the best care possible.

Click here for Part II of our three-part series in which we dispel the anesthesia MSO-as-salary-slasher myth.

Read our other posts here.

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