The percentage of hospitals financially subsidizing their anesthesia groups has been reported in excess of 80% for many years and is expected to rise even more. As a result, there has been an increased focused on this expense, along with fair market value requests from hospitals who are under pressure from their anesthesia groups to increase financial support. Looking into 2022, there are several factors which will likely put further pressure on an anesthesia group’s economics.
Anesthesia revenue per unit is likely to decline
The natural aging of America, and the corresponding change in payor mix, will have a disproportionately negative impact on anesthesia vs. most other specialty physician segments. The American Society of Anesthesia refers to the gap in commercial reimbursement to Medicare reimbursement as “the 33% problem.” The Medicare reimbursement for anesthesia is typically 33% of that for commercial payors. In modeling required financial support for an anesthesia service, one of the most important factors in determining the level of support is payor mix.