Ep 156: How the Economics of Healthcare Could Change Anesthesia

Money drives many of the decisions industries have to make and healthcare is no exception. As things become more expensive and less efficient, people are looking for ways to improve the quality and cost of care. Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA, is an assistant professor at Western Carolina University and has turned much of his focus to healthcare economics and QZ team billing. Today he’ll tell us more about this team approach, how it’s impacting cost, and why it’s a good thing for CRNAs.    

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

The cost of healthcare has been a significant concern for many Americans for some time, but it seems to be more relevant today than ever. Prices continue to rise while care remains inefficient, and more and more people are trying to find ways to change this trend.

We’re seeing some of that in anesthesia, where a team concept is being utilized more and more. This is something that Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA, has been following closely. He’s practiced for a long time in Asheville and his interest was piqued when he learned about a new billing model that allowed a practice to operate with fewer anesthesiologists.

We’ve invited him on the show to learn more about the economics of healthcare and what the future could hold for CRNAs. We’ll let him give you all the details, but the good news is this shift appears to be a positive for those working in anesthesia.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • How he became interested in this topic
  • The rise of the team concept in anesthesiology
  • Why the QZ model has led to consolidation of employers
  • How will this impact the future of anesthesia
  • What the average anesthetist makes in a socialist system
  • Looking at outcomes vs amount spent
  • Why he thinks we’ll see more CRNA-driven care in smaller settings

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[4:34] – Introducing today’s guest and topic

[6:53] – The anesthesia care team model

[11:24] – Background on QZ billing

[14:15] – Supervision

[16:45] – How will affect the future of anesthesia?

[22:48] – What does the average anesthetist make?

[26:03] – Outcomes vs amount spent

[30:57] – Solutions for the future

[35:49] – What patients think of their care

[37:02] – Problems with employer-based insurance system

[38:34] – Two options we face

[42:46] – CRNAs in good position

[44:10] – Lightning Round


“Whoever the deals the care safely, efficiently, and cheaply is going to be the winner.”

– Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA

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