Anesthesiologist-led 'surgical home' cuts costs, improves outcomes

Touted by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), a developing surgical home model promises to improve, quality, efficiency and cost savings.

Last month, the American Society of Anesthesiologists presented its Perioperative Surgical Home model at a White House roundtable.

An offshoot of the patient-centered medical home model, the perioperative care surgical home model aims to coordinate care but in the acute care setting. According to ASA, the comprehensive preoperative triage system includes more hands on deck, with anesthesiologists at the helm. When anesthesiology departments take a more active role in the overall management of surgical patients, outcomes improve at less expense to the hospital, Anesthesiology News reported.

Researchers at the University of Southern California Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles found the model reduced 30-day mortality by 47 percent and cut average length of stay by half a day, according to preliminary data.

In addition to improved outcomes, preoperative triage can help cut costs by eliminating redundant testing, as demonstrated by other research from the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, Anesthesiology News noted.

In a separate study, researchers at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans found patient charges for the seven most common medical tests were reduced by $18,187 for every 100 patients with mild disease and $20,664 for every 100 patients with moderate disease, according to an ASA Oct. 17 statement.  

"Our premise is that dedicated anesthesiologists likely have more insight into surgical stresses and test requirements than primary care physicians who, with surgeons, still predominantly 'clear' most patients in U.S. clinical practice," lead study author Sharon Carrillo said.

For more information:
- read the Anesthesiology News article
- here's the ASA statement on Ochsner Medical Center research
- see the ASA statement on the White House roundtable

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