As the regulatory and competitive landscapes have changed, anesthesia industry consolidation has become the best way for many practices to meet rising expectations. The ability to provide a full range of perioperative services, participate in an ACO or Shared Savings programs, and effectively and economically administer anesthesia in non-traditional locations are all achievable when you work with the right partner.

Anesthesia practice mergers and acquisitions have become more frequent in recent years as many practices acknowledge they lack the bandwidth and the infrastructure to meet the demands of their clients by expanding and enhancing their services—while also keeping costs down. Cost pressures have been exacerbated by the shift in the payer mix to payers that historically undervalue anesthesia. With rising subsidies, hospitals are also increasingly aware of the bottom line, and with the proliferation of more geographically diverse options, your anesthesia practice must offer exceptional value to compete and thrive.

There are several paths to anesthesia industry consolidation: merge with another practice, join a larger organization such as NAPA, or sell your practice to a well-funded multi-specialty company. While a merger with a similar practice can generate modest improvements in buying power and clinician coverage, it’s on a relatively small-scale as compared to what can be gained by joining with an organization such as NAPA.

Advantages of consolidation with a larger organization include:

  • Access to human, technical and informational resources
  • Enhanced financial performance and stability
  • Improved ability to meet healthcare reform requirements
  • Sharpened focus on improving patient care

Although a transaction with a multi-specialty group may, at first, appear to provide many of the same advantages as joining up with an anesthesia-focused organization, the clinical benefits derived from a larger group specializing in anesthesia cannot be matched by these primarily financial organizations. In some cases, a myopic focus on short-term financial metrics and corporate control can even compromise patient care.

There’s a developing paradigm in U.S. healthcare away from the independent anesthesia practice model towards the larger cohesive anesthesia management group. The key to long-term success as an anesthesia practice is joining forces with an organization that will empower you to build upon your strengths and overcome the tough challenges ahead.