Before investing in a presurgical clinic, it is essential for anesthesiologists to weigh the pros and cons of the venture, according to a Sept. 5 post by Anesthesia Business Consultants on its website.
Presurgical clinics, where patients see a nurse practitioner prior to their procedure for testing such as vitals and bloodwork, have the potential to increase revenue and add value to anesthesia groups.
Anesthesia groups interested in adding presurgical clinics to their repertoire need to consider the following:
• How the services will be billed. Anesthesiologists are already required to perform pre-anesthesia assessments before care, which is bundled into the anesthesia code on claims. To bill evaluations at presurgical clinics separately, there must be a reason for the additional pre-procedure testing that is considered "above and beyond" the bundled pre-anesthesia assessment and the surgeon's own presurgical health and physical exam.
• Claims for pre-anesthesia testing should not be submitted for every patient, only when the service being provided is medically appropriate.
• Since NPs cannot perform anesthesia consults, payers may consider any evaluative work performed by the NP as not outside of the scope of a typical pre-anesthesia assessment. Anesthesia groups should be sure to consider this risk.