The burden of anesthesia reimbursements: Why securing revenue is getting harder

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Change Healthcare cyberattack are just two of the budgetary challenges facing anesthesia providers, according to a May 6 post by medical revenue cycle management group Coronis Health.

Anesthesia practices have had to focus on cost management as revenue generation has become more challenging. 

Here are five notes on the factors affecting anesthesia practice's revenue generation:

1. Many practices have decided to outsource their billing to optimize collection. Coding accuracy is a huge concern as clinical protocols and CPT codes evolve — practices must be careful to avoid accidental upcoding or unbundling. 

2. The diversity of payer policies is also daunting, and the number of patients' insurance information that hasn't been collected by the hospital can prove a collection challenge.  Additionally, practices are facing the impact of a growing Medicare population and an evolving payer mix. 

3. The national anesthesia provider shortage has also increased the cost of coverage. Many providers are focused on lifestyle issues, according to the report, making retention difficult. Many practices have turned payroll issues over to facilities, relieving the practice of management responsibility. 

4. Market challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and Change Healthcare have forced providers to rely on practice managers.

5. Perspective and strategy is critical to managing a medical practice, according to the report. 

"The challenge and the opportunity must be divined by identifying the general market trends and applying their impact to the specific factors affecting a given practice," the post said. 

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