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Aducanumab is a IgG1 monoclonal antibody therapy that targets amyloid beta (Aβ), aiding in clearance of the Aβ plaques that are a defining molecular feature of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Controversy erupted in June 2021 when the FDA overruled their own advisory committee and approved aducanumab (Aduhelm, Biogen) for the treatment of AD.
According to the AAMC, by 2034 there is projected to be a shortage of anywhere between 38,000 to 124,000 physicians. One critical group of specialists included in these physicians is anesthesiologists. Recently, the ASA Monitor conducted a phone interview with 2020 ASA President Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, FACHE, FASA, to discuss the potential causes and impact of this looming shortage on anesthesiologists.
Thomas R. Miller, PhD, MBA
This month’s Curious Economist identifies an outlier: A rural hospital conducting less than 600 surgeries per year and employing (or contracting with) a non-physician anesthetist (NPA) reported that the cost for this NPA exceeded 1 million dollars. Medicare’s portion of this hospital’s anesthesia-related costs was about 60%, potentially resulting in CMS reimbursing the hospital more than $600,000 for the anesthesia-related professional services provided to the hospital’s Medicare patients. This article examines the NPA cost data reported by rural pass-through.
The primary take-away from this case report and analysis is that there is still a place for phone calls, and with many new technologies, closed-loop communication becomes even more critical. Remember, when in doubt, picking up the phone or going to the bedside is always the right choice.
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