Balancing Care…and Costs
Today’s healthcare administrators are consumed with challenges brought on by rapid change. The optimal facility management model is evolving from one that prioritizes healthcare delivery above all to one that rewards facilities for keeping people healthy and avoiding costly readmissions.
Administrators of hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers are constantly seeking ways to meet this challenge and at the same time, deliver more care to more people at lower cost with higher quality outcomes. Since all anesthesia professionals deliver the same base anesthetics, a care model that reduces cost is worth examination. CRNA-based anesthesia care delivers just that. In fact, a landmark study published in 2010 found that the most cost-effective anesthesia delivery model is a CRNA working as the sole anesthesia provider. And CRNAs are educated, trained and experienced in providing anesthesia care for highly complicated medical procedures. In fact, before entering a nurse anesthesia program, CRNAs already have an average of three and a half years critical care experience – the only anesthesia professionals who can make this claim.
A CRNA-based anesthesia care model also makes sense from a risk management perspective:
- Like physicians, CRNAs are responsible for securing their own liability coverage. The same legal principles that govern the liability of surgeons working with nurse anesthetists apply to surgeons working with anesthesiologists.
- Furthermore, case law supports the fact that surgeons are no more liable when working with a CRNA than with an anesthesiologist. Today, CRNA professional liability premiums are 33 percent lower than 25 years ago, 62 percent lower when adjusted for inflation. This is due in part, to the fact that the care delivered by CRNAs is extremely safe.
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