CEO expects aging physician population to impact anesthesiologists

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Adam Spiegel, CEO of NorthStar Anesthesia, spoke with Becker's ASC Review on how physician shortages will affect anesthesiologists. 

Question: How do you predict the aging physician population and physician shortages will affect the ASC industry in the next three years? Why? 

Adam Spiegel: From an anesthesia perspective, the aging physician population is just one of a few factors that will impact the availability of anesthesia providers to staff both inpatient and ASC facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic led many providers to retire earlier than anticipated or created concerns around child care reducing work availability. 

Additionally, the change to a DNAP/DNP model for nurse anesthesia education increases the length of schooling by an additional year, reducing available CRNAs. These shortages, coupled with reimbursement reductions from CMS, may cause anesthesia providers and other outsourced specialties to require ASCs to pay provider stipends if they are not run efficiently.

Q: What novel surgical technique has had the most significant impact on your practice? 

AS: Robotic surgery in the ASC environment is a novel approach with a very significant impact on our anesthesia practices. Recently, we've seen an increase in the adoption of robotic surgery techniques in orthopedics, general surgery and gynecology. There are many factors, like positioning, fluid and electrolyte issues, and pain management, that require well-trained anesthesia providers to support these increasingly complex procedures in the ASC environment.

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