Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why choose Advancing Practitioners to improve our hospital’s perioperative services – versus doing it on our own?
A. First, while your hospital may be an exception, most hospitals do not have the in house expertise to provide the needed services. AP has a new, advanced perioperative approach including Clinical Perioperative Staffing, Information Technology, Supply Chain Innovation and Perioperative Process Improvement. Read more about AP’s unique approach. Second, as a third-party we can bill separately for our Mid-Level Providers and Physician professional services that are deemed medically necessary according to strict compliance rules. Because of this we can save you money. Read more about AP benefits for hospitals.
Q. What exactly is your definition of the “Perioperative Continuum?”
A. Our services cross the Perioperative Continuum from admission to discharge, in harmony with surgeons and key hospital resources and help provide some of the “glue” to ensure a team approach to each surgical patient. Read more about AP’s approach and see our Perioperative Continuum diagrams.
Q. Does that include Labor & Delivery?
A. Yes, our services can certainly include Labor & Delivery. We will assess the needs of your obstetricians and your L&D department.
Q. What surgical specialties does your company cover?
A. We cover all surgical specialties.
Q. How can Advancing Practitioners help our surgeons?
A. AP is all about making surgeons’ lives at the hospital easier which makes yours easier. As a result, your hospital becomes more profitable and is a better place for patients to receive care. It’s about intelligently offloading tasks (allowed by licensure regulations) to Mid-Level Practitioners and our Physicians and working as a perioperative team. From removing a lot of the burden of CPOE and EHR requirements to providing highly trained and motivated surgical first assistants to handling a lot of the time consuming calls and communications involved in dealing with surgical patients. Also download 12 Secrets to Keep Your Surgeons Happy & Productive at the Hospital which AP will help you put into practice on a continual basis.
Q. Our hospital already has its own Surgical First Assistant staff. What happens to those people if we contract with AP?
A. Typically, after we sign an agreement with your organization, they would become our employees and owners in our company. We would be responsible for recruitment of other SFA staff (and other perioperative practitioners) as needed. As AP employees, besides competitive pay and benefits, they would realize a number of other advantages by joining our company including ownership and being part of a team that focuses specifically on their skills and expertise. Read more about AP Practitioners.
Q. What if a surgical practice already has its own physician assistant(s) in the OR and provides some of the other perioperative care?
A. It is entirely up to your surgeons to use their own Mid-Level Practitioner(s) We would work with your surgeons, individually, to fill any gaps they might have. A surgeon might actually decide to re-allocate his or her OR-based Mid-Level Practitioner to the office where they can often be of greater assistance and generate more revenues for their practice.
Q. Would Advancing Practitioners run the whole OR?
A. No, we play important and complementary roles to your Surgeons, OR directors, circulating nurses, OR techs and anesthesia team. There are a lot of people and pieces directly related to the OR. We like to bring some “glue” to the team by enhancing communication. This starts before the patient arrives and after continues after the patient leaves the hospital. AP acts as your advocate in helping to coordinate the disparate components and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care provided to surgical patients.
Q. Is AP a surgical staffing firm or a specialized Surgical First Assistant staffing firm?
A. Not exactly. Yes, we provide key perioperative staffing components which include your SFAs. When we begin a program, we work with you to name a team leader to be the point of contact in your hospital. This team leader coordinates the Mid-Level Practitioners to ensure continuity of care before and after surgery. Plus, AP offers Information Technology, Supply Chain Innovation and Perioperative Process Improvement services to further enhance the cost effectiveness and efficiency of your hospital’s overall perioperative services.
Q. Are you a type of traveling staffing firm?
A. No. We seek to develop a stable staff of AP practitioners for one facility – or possibly more than one if you are operating a system of hospitals in a relatively small geography.
Q. What if we only need part of your package of perioperative services?
A. AP is flexible enough to provide whatever component or components you need from providing recruitment and partial SFA staffing to our full package of services. Read more.
Q. What roles do AP Mid-Level Practitioners, play in the Perioperative continuum?
Q. Do you cross train your staff for to work in the OR, PACU and Floors?
A. Yes, we do cross train our Mid-Level Practitioners. We evaluate the skills sets and certifications of our Mid-Level Practitioners. Once we have a feel of the team in your OR, we will work to cross train the practitioners that can go back and forth from the OR to the floor.
Q. What roles do AP Physicians play in the Perioperative continuum?
Our Physicians are credentialed and Board Certified typically in Internal Medicine or Family Practice and have experience working in hospitals. Their primary roles will be to supervise AP Mid-Level Practitioners who are providing care services outside the OR to surgical patients. If there is a surgical issue with a patient on the floor our Mid-Level Practitioners will consult the surgeon. If there is a medical issue for the patient, our Mid-Level Practitioners will consult their AP supervising physician. Plus, our physicians are the primary interface as any issues arise with hospital managers, surgeons or other physicians.
Q. How do your Physicians interact with other physicians?
A. Collegially and professionally. We are there to help surgeons and other consulting physicians as needed.
Q. What if our hospital already has a hospitalist program in place that covers patients in our facility?
A. AP can complement your current hospitalist program with regard to surgical patients and provide another level of service. Hospitalist companies can not compete with the level of care that we bring to your perioperative service. Over time, depending on the volume of surgical cases, you might decide to cut back on some of your hospitalist coverage and let us do it even better and less expensive by primarily using our Mid-Level Practitioners. And with AP, your hospital may be able to forego the addition of another hospitalist (and associated cost) as surgical procedures increase.
Q. Is AP a hospitalist company?
A. No, but as medical consultants our physicians provide supervision of AP Mid-Levels and direct care for surgical patients outside of the OR during their hospital stay. Read more about our AP Physicians. AP can be complementary to a current hospitalist program with regard to surgical patients and provide another level of service, rarely provided by hospitalist companies, pre-operative and post-operative via Mid-Level practitioners.
Q. How is your firm compensated?
A. Typically, we receive a stipend from the hospital to manage and provide our Mid-Level Practitioners and Surgical First Assistant (SFA) staffing. We will guarantee savings while providing a number of additional benefits to your hospital. The remainder comes from professional services that AP bills for separately for Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Physician services that are deemed “medically necessary.” AP is able to provide a discount to hospitals because AP bills third parties directly. However, there are many functions performed by AP which are not reimbursable such as double scrubbing, assisting on a non-medically necessary case for a first assistant and CSAs assisting on Medicare cases.
Q. Are those new charges for payers?
A. The procedures that AP bills for are medically necessary for a first assistant. AP will bill a separate modifier on the claim which denotes that a first assistant was in on the procedure. Our bill does not affect the hospital or surgeon bill.
Please email or call us at (954) 791-6146 to find out more about AP.