Since its inception in December 2014, CRH Anesthesia, a subsidiary of CRH Medical Corp., has expanded to provide anesthesia services in over 50 centers nationwide.
CRH Medical also owns the CRH O’Regan System, a device for the non-surgical treatment of hemorrhoids. CRH has brought this device, along with their comprehensive clinical and practice support, to over 3,000 gastroenterologists and 1 million uses.
This year, CRH Medical introduced Dr. Tushar Ramani, a veteran of the healthcare industry, as its new CEO. Dr. Ramani and Jay Kreger, President of CRH Anesthesia, discuss this appointment and what it means for CRH.
Question: You have a long history in anesthesia and other healthcare-related services. Can you describe your background and what attracted you to CRH Medical Corp.?
Dr. Tushar Ramani: I began my career in healthcare as an anesthesiologist and later moved on to develop and lead several nationally prominent healthcare service companies, including a healthcare staffing firm and an anesthesia revenue cycle management company. I also co-founded and led Anesthetix Management, a full-service anesthesiology and pain management solutions provider.
What attracted me most to CRH is our unique position in the healthcare space and the trust we have fostered amongst physicians and patients alike as a supplier of important and essential gastroenterology services. I am humbled to be leading our talented and motivated team in our quest to become the most useful partner to our customers possible.
Q: How do you believe your extensive experience in healthcare will benefit CRH, and ultimately, its customers and patients?
TR: Through my life’s work, I’ve developed an authentic empathy for physicians and their duty to their patients. While CRH has brought significant value to the GI community since 2010, I believe it remains an underserved industry that we are uniquely positioned to support.
Implementing efficient and cost-effective hemorrhoid treatment is becoming an increasingly important issue, as the condition costs Americans over $2 billion annually, often wasted on ineffective treatments, lost productivity and suffering. CRH owns the leading treatment for this condition and as such has an ability — and responsibility — to help alleviate this burden by empowering GIs, who play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhoids, to provide effective and efficient treatment.
Now providing anesthesia services in over 50 ASCs, CRH Anesthesia has rapidly become the leading provider of anesthesia services for endoscopy. We seek not only to further expand our footprint, but to reliably enhance the value we deliver to each center we serve. Beyond our existing businesses, we are exploring additional vehicles to provide value to gastroenterologists and their patients.
Q: Jay, how has CRH Anesthesia evolved since you joined as president in 2016 and what does Dr. Ramani’s appointment mean for your team?
Jay Kreger: When I joined CRH, we had completed seven anesthesia transactions and most people weren’t aware there was even a market for GI anesthesia. Today, we have more than tripled that number and have educated the GI community on the value of their anesthesia business and services. With the addition of each center we serve, we further strengthen our expertise, with the ability to attract the most talented and experienced providers and capacity to provide outstanding value to our customers and their patients.
As a former anesthesiologist, Dr. Ramani’s intimate understanding of our customers’ needs provides insight and thought leadership within our organization and furthers our credibility in the field.
Q: Clearly Dr. Ramani’s appointment is positive for CRH and the centers it serves. Do you see any changes to the core focus of CRH Anesthesia, particularly its emphasis on gastroenterology?
JK: No. Our core focus remains on providing value to the gastroenterology community. CRH Anesthesia has been a catalyst to that end, and while we will continue to expand our footprint and strengthen our services, and as Dr. Ramani alluded to, there are still many other ways we can potentially serve the GI community. That said, we have expertise in outpatient anesthesia services for all specialties, and we adapt our model to fit the requirements of each individual group.
Q: How do you adapt your models to fit the unique needs of practices both within and outside of the gastroenterology space?
JK: First and foremost, CRH Anesthesia assesses the current anesthesia needs of each physician practice it encounters. We offer several models, flexible both in structure and in the engagement of providers. It is well known today that many gastroenterologists have implemented anesthesia programs; we have found that they can all benefit both clinically and financially from a full or partial association with CRH.
Beyond these programs, CRH can also help gastroenterologists who are looking to convert from a moderate sedation program to using propofol and utilizing anesthesia providers for the first time. Our MAC Development Program is tailored to fit the needs of gastroenterology practices that have never implemented their own anesthesia service previously; but need access to CRH’s scaled resources for a timely, safe, and successful start to their new business line.
Lastly, CRH also offers full anesthesia management services where an existing ambulatory surgical center seeks a quality anesthesia partner skilled in staffing, revenue cycle management, and the daily operations of an outpatient setting.
Q: What are some important factors for practices to consider when looking for an anesthesia partner or service provider?
JK: There are many factors that go into selecting the right anesthesia management company for an individual group or facility. For example, at CRH we serve over 50 facilities and share our best practices gleaned from our many similar locations. For a vital service like anesthesia, open communication and a proactive approach go a long way toward optimizing patient satisfaction, safety, and scheduling efficiency. Additionally, the ability to attract and retain high-quality providers is a crucial differentiator.
A well-selected partner extends benefits to the procedure room and to your patients’ experience in all aspects.
TR: At CRH we believe trust is of ultimate importance. Our partners can expect that their anesthesia team will enhance their clinical expertise to advance patient care in the right direction, but the right anesthesia provider also adds value beyond top quality medical care. To us, this means building relationships with your patients and supporting the clinical plans and business goals of the facility’s management team and its physician partners. Alignment on every level is a key part of our solution.