In this series, the ASA Monitor investigates the unique circumstances surrounding the financial valuation of anesthesiologists by the health care industry. Learn how anesthesiologists are paid, what needs to change, and how you can join the ASA Economic Strategic Plan Initiative to achieve a more stable and equitable future.

Anesthesia services are an integral component of the practice of medicine and span the continuum of care, within both the OR and encompassing perioperative care field. Because of its importance and the need to ensure availability of skilled anesthesiologists, anesthesia services must be valued appropriately.

Payment for most anesthesia services is somewhat unique, based on an anesthesia relative value system with payment based on a conversion factor determined by the commercial payor or Medicare. While payment for anesthesia services vary by payor, for anesthesia services paid by Medicare, Medicare payments represent approximately 33% of average commercial payments for anesthesia services...

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