Billing and Insurance
Your care may involve services provided by both an anesthesiologist (doctor) and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Spectrum Medical Group employs the doctor who provides you care and, at some hospitals, the nurse who works under the “medical direction” of the doctor.
Medicare, and some other insurance plans, require two separate bills for the anesthesia provided during your surgical procedure–one for the doctor and one for the nurse. Spectrum will always submit a bill for the doctor portion of the service. However, the total payment we receive for each bill is exactly half of what we would receive if only one provider was involved in your care. Therefore, the total payment is equal to what we would be paid if only the doctor provided your care without the assistance of a CRNA.
At times, the billing requirement to send two bills to get one total payment can cause confusion among the beneficiaries. It may seem that we are billing twice for the same service. We want to assure you that we are not billing twice for the same service; we are only following the regulations set forth by Medicare and other insurance plans for billing for anesthesia services.
Anesthesia services have both a “base” value and a “time” value. The base value reflects the amount of anesthesia work associated with a specific surgical procedure and includes the necessary pre- and post- operative care, the administration of fluids and any other incidental products, and all other anesthesia services except the time actually spent. The time value reflects the actual time that the anesthesia providers were involved with your care. As anesthesia services have a time component based on the actual length of your surgery, the actual charges for your anesthesia cannot be ultimately determined until after your surgical procedure. You may contact the billing office for an estimate of the potential charges based on your surgical procedure.
You will receive an explanation of benefits from your insurance plan for these bills. If you have any questions about this matter, please feel free to contact us.
Nerve Blocks for Pain Relief After General Anesthesia
Nerves carry pain messages from a site of injury to the brain. By injecting a local anesthetic near a nerve, those messages can be temporarily blocked, relieving pain.
No. This is strictly an option to provide pain control during the first day and night after surgery.
No. You will still have narcotics (but you will need less and probably have fewer side effects) and other non-narcotic pain killers.
You will be given a powerful sedative before the injection. The pain is usually minimal. Most patients are not aware that the procedure has been performed.
All medical or surgical treatments carry some risk. Your anesthesiologist will inform you of any specific risks related to your nerve block. Fortunately the risk of serious injury is very small.
Yes. If you need more information about this procedure you can call us at 207.662.4563. You may also call after your surgery if you have any questions.