Can independent anesthesia practices survive?

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Payer mix and volume decline, as well as an increase in coverage requirements, have spurred a decline in the independence of anesthesia practices, Tony Mira, founder and CEO of Anesthesia Business consultants, wrote in an Aug. 4 blog post.

Anesthesia providers have historically prided themselves on independence, Mr. Mira wrote. However, this preference hasn't aligned with healthcare providers' increasingly collaborative approach. 

For example, while anesthesia providers traditionally have succeeded in negotiating their own contracts, public payers now represent a larger volume, diminishing the ability to cost shift. Commercial players additionally are beginning to push back more on contract negotiations. 

Hospital organizations also are looking for ways to reduce the cost of anesthesia care, exploring the employment of anesthesia providers. This increases the difficulty in maintaining practice independence. 

In order to succeed in this climate, Mr. Mira suggested that each practice "assess its own situation and develop its own strategic plan." 

He also recommended adaptability and considering joining a multispecialty practice. 

"Under a less adversarial relationship, independence would give way to collaboration," he said. "Income may be sacrificed for lifestyle and security."

Read more of Mr. Mira's suggestions here

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