How many anesthesiologists and anesthetists practice within the group?
Researching the dynamics of the workplace for which you are interviewing is useful and important. Some anesthesia practices utilize physician-only models while others promote the use of anesthetists. Ask how many anesthesiologists and anesthetists are on the team currently, or if the practice is growing, how many roles are expected to fill the team.
This may also help you to understand how the practice functions and better determine duties and responsibilities of each role. It could be helpful to look at groups with diverse models in their usage of anesthesiologist and anesthetists to allow a wide span of variety based on your preferences.
Does the group provide malpractice insurance for this anesthesiologist job opportunity? If so, what are the coverage limits?
There are two different types of liability policies on the market today – occurrence and claims made. It is important to know which policy is offered, what it means and what limitations are present. The difference between the two types can best be described by giving an example.
The occurrence policy provides protection through the insurance company that insured you at the time of the incident and must defend you and pay any judgment against you, up to the amount of coverage you purchased, even though the policy may no longer be in effect.
A claims-made policy requires you not only have a policy in effect when the incident or accident occurs, but also later when you are sued for the accident or incident. If you are not insured with the insurance company when the suit is actually brought against you, you will not have any protection from the policy. As long as you continue to renew your claims-made policy with the same company, it is obligated to defend you for claims arising from incidents that have taken place while you have been insured with the company.
When you cancel or non-renew a claims-made policy, you must buy tail coverage, which provides coverage for the tail of claims made against you later for things you did while you were insured with the company. Tail coverage is referred to as Extended Coverage, Extended Reporting Period or Extended Reporting Endorsement.
Learn more about the differences between claims-made and occurrence policies here. If you are uncertain about any of the information provided by the organization you are interviewing with, ask to speak with the malpractice team or coverage provider.
Will I be medically directing or medically supervising CRNAs or AAs? If so, what is the MDA: Anesthetist ratio?
Understanding the distinctions between medically directing and medically supervising anesthetists and the compliance levels required by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for each designation is critical.
Medically Directed Practices: Occurs when an anesthesiologist is involved with up to four simultaneous anesthesia procedures with a qualified clinician (anesthetist). For each anesthesia procedure, the anesthesiologist must complete the required services themselves.
Medical Supervised Practices: Occurs when an anesthesiologist is involved with over five simultaneous anesthesia procedures. Supervision can also occur when the required services under medical direction are not executed by an anesthesiologist.
Your level of comfortability and interest in medically directing or supervising CRNAs and/or AAs is important to determine if a practice is the right fit for you. If you are CRNA or AA, understand your level of desired autonomy within a practice.
Learn more about medical direction vs. medical supervision from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.