No two hospitals are the same. No two ambulatory surgery centers are the same. Bottom line: No two businesses are the same. That well known and widely accepted premise was established long ago. So why is it that many in the healthcare arena still believe there is no difference among managed services organizations (MSOs) in the highly specialized practice of anesthesia? It doesn’t make sense. If you consider the following factors, you can easily distinguish between the good and the not-so-good. u can easily distinguish between the good and the not-so-good.
First, there’s the corporate structure to consider. The model upon which each MSO is built varies. For example, some are owned by private equity groups. In other instances, they may be publicly owned. In both cases it’s a pretty safe bet that the key stakeholders are the funding group or, as it might be in the latter, those owning shares in the company. Either way, you can imagine a scenario in which there is a lot of profit-taking and less investment in the anesthesia group. Certainly, it doesn’t seem likely that patients or surgeons are top priorities.
On the other hand, some MSOs are private companies whose only business is the management and delivery of high-quality anesthesia services. In this case, there should be the tendency for these service providers to reinvest profits into the company. When this happens, the result is likely to be improved service offerings. Having a singular focus on anesthesia should translate into higher patient and surgeon satisfaction rates.
Second, consider the MSO’s operations, processes and philosophy. Are anesthesia services the only offering, a core competency? What about quality and safety? Do ongoing quality improvement and patient safety always top the priority list? If they do, is that proven through regular and transparent measurement and reporting? What about the hiring organization’s compliance efforts? Does the anesthesia MSO support them? A good managed service provider will excel in these areas. After all, they are an extension of the healthcare organization they serve.
Finally, there is the background check. When hiring an employee or partnering with any with service provider, companies conduct thorough reference checks. Any anesthesia services provider should be required, as well as willing, to provide contact information for current and past clients whose organization is similar to yours. The information you uncover will be invaluable in helping you make an informed decision.
After investigating each of these details, it becomes pretty clear that all anesthesia MSOs are not the same. In fact, they may be vastly different in the level of service and accountability they deliver. Given these differentiating factors, and if each MSO is a unique business, how can they all possibly be the same?
See the entire series debunking prominent myths about anesthesia MSOs here.