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June 6, 2024

Establishing a Successful Anesthesia Practice

June 6, 2024

Anesthesia providers, including CRNAs, who work independently make more money, have greater autonomy and have better satisfaction with their work/life balance than employed providers. Establishing an anesthesia practice can seem like a daunting task, but you’ve already earned your degree, so why not become a business owner as well? The benefits are worth it. If you are seeking more freedom with your time and control over how you spend it, building an anesthesia practice should be your next step.

Opportunities and Challenges in the Anesthesia Field

The current opportunities in the anesthesia industry arise from the US’s rapidly aging population. Demand for anesthesia providers has risen year over year, and this trend is expected to continue. Of course, the challenges come from that same statistic. An aging population means more payers that are out of the workforce and no longer covered by private insurance. As Medicare/Medicaid payments typically fall well below private rates and hospital margins are already razor thin, the financial reimbursements for providing anesthesia services sometimes do not adequately cover the costs. Utilizing technology to manage your revenue cycle and staying up-to-date on industry regulations can help your practice get every dollar that it is due - preserving your margins and improving your bottom line. 

If you need help setting up or running your anesthesia practice, we are a phone call away! 

Efficient management is a keystone of building a successful anesthesia practice. You can’t spend all your time on every single administrative task or you won’t have any time to do the actual job of providing anesthesia services, so effective delegation will make or break your business. You don’t have to do it all alone! A medical business management company will be your partner in building your practice by giving you the peace of mind of knowing your revenue cycle is protected by experienced professionals. A medical business management company can also advise on “best practice” protocols in running your anesthesia practice.

Steps to Establish an Anesthesia Practice

Your anesthesia practice won’t appear overnight. There are important steps to take to set up a solid foundation for your business.

  • Evaluate the anesthesia market in your current location. 
    • Are there already competitors in your region? How large is your target market? What are the opportunities for future growth? What is the need that you will be filling?
    • Asking yourself the tough questions now when you conduct a market feasibility survey will help you avoid answers you don’t like down the road.
  • Set up your necessary certifications and licensing. 
    • In addition to your national board license and state-specific credentialing, there are a few things you need to set up for your anesthesia practice.
    • This includes setting up your TIN, selecting the entity for your business license, and applying for your Group NPI once you have your tax ID. 
    • Consider liability insurance to manage the risk of malpractice. 
  • Make a financial plan for your anesthesia practice. 
    • What is the initial investment required to open? What are your operating expenses, including staffing, supplies, marketing, and administrative costs?
    • Using the information from your market feasibility study, create revenue projections.
    • Consider billing and coding optimization when setting up your revenue cycle management. 
  • Create a solid business infrastructure utilizing modern technologies. 
    • What does a typical day look like at your anesthesia practice? What business practices will you put in place to ensure you are able to effectively schedule and manage patients? 
    • Utilizing electronic health record systems (EHR) will reduce your clinical workload. 
    • Consider quality improvement checkpoints to make sure your infrastructure is still supporting your business.
  • Hire top-notch employees.
    • What are the staffing requirements of your anesthesia practice? 
    • Don’t get lost in the weeds managing your business. Your staff should be able to handle the day-to-day while you focus on what’s next. 
    • Developing effective recruitment strategies should be a key part of your business development.
  • Create a strong brand identity. 
    • You are not only attracting patients, you are attracting referring physicians and healthcare facilities. A strong marketing strategy will ensure that you continue to have a strong revenue stream. 
    • While it seems like credentials are enough to ‘sell’ yourself as an anesthesia provider, why not stand out from the rest? 
    • A strong brand identity instills confidence and trust in your anesthesia practice, from both patients and surgeons alike.

Keeping Your Practice Cutting-Edge

Congratulations! You’ve created an anesthesia practice. Now what do you do? This isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. Be open to evaluate and adjust. And remember, if you can measure it, you can change it! If your practice management software is no longer up-to-date, get a new one. If your staffing requirements have changed because you’ve added more business, hire accordingly. Are there new advancements in anesthesia technology that can improve your patients’ outcomes? Embrace them! 

In addition to technological advancement, are you growing your collaborations and partnerships year over year? Business has to come from somewhere. Networking with healthcare providers, including hospitals, surgeons, and specialty providers, will be an important part of your business growth. Surgeons are your teammates in the operating room and can be your teammates in building your business as well. Continuing education and professional development will keep you on top of industry trends and advancements. There are also opportunities for research and academic partnerships to grow your knowledge, collaborate with other anesthesia providers, and find ways to innovate patient care. By embracing innovation, even if it means change, you are setting your anesthesia practice up for success not just today, but tomorrow and into the future.

MBM can be your partner in growth. To find out about how we can help you establish or build your anesthesia practice, give us a call. 

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