News / Articles

Which Staffing Model is Appropriate For My Practice?

posted by Michael Jopling Partner, Accel Anesthesia, LLC on August 8, 2012

Michael Jopling, MD, Executive VP, Accel Anesthesia, LLC

August 8, 2012


As reimbursements decline and the pressure to reduce anesthesia costs rise, more and more anesthesia groups require continuous evaluation to determine the most appropriate and effective staffing model for their particular practice situation.


A logical mechanism for improving the profitability of a practice is to change the proportion of physician to non-physician anesthesia providers. This may enable a practice group to meet the demands of payers to reduce costs.


Differing staffing models can have other important advantages. For example, they can improve the ability to adapt to unplanned illnesses and absences from work, adjust how emergency procedures are handled, and offer solutions for general OR efficiencies.


However, there are particular internal and external challenges to consider when analyzing the effects of the different anesthesia staffing models.  The decision on which model is appropriate comes down to several factors, including surgeon preference, types of procedures performed, hospital productivity targets, local anesthesia market conditions, potential transition issues, surgery center size, and federal or state regulatory requirements.


Having an updated plan which allows an objective comparison of the costs and benefits of various models is invaluable to a hospital or anesthesia practice. Armed with an effective plan, hospitals and anesthesia practices can utilize their limited resources more effectively. Accel Anesthesia can model various staffing scenarios and assist in understanding what is optimized and what is compromised so that an informed decision can be made.