Partnership Means Facing Difficult Situations Together


In this particular partnership, partnership drove a much-needed reduction in anesthesia overhead.

A Surprising Call to the Executives at Premier Anesthesia

Dr. Jerry Titel and Norb Hummel knew their teams cared about the hospitals where they worked, but this went beyond that.

Client Hospital in Severe Financial Difficulties, Nearing Insolvency

The Premier Anesthesia Medical Director, on the phone from a small hospital on the West Coast, was blunt with his bosses, "We've got to do something." The hospital was experiencing severe financial difficulties. Expenses had to be reduced in a big way, and quickly. "I've talked this over with the anesthesiologists," the Medical Director said. "We want to reduce our compensation. Immediately, Premier Anesthesia jumped on board. The company reduced the management fee by $100,000 and the physicians matched that. The plan was set in motion within 24 hours.

A Vendor Helping Work towards a Solution

Premier Anesthesia reached out to the hospital's CEO and CNO. "Look, we've heard about the financial struggles you're having," Hummel and Dr. Titel told them in a conference call. "We want to be a good partner, so we're reducing our fees by $200,000."

On the other end of the line, there was silence. When words did come, they were full or appreciation and amazement. "Premier (Anesthesia) was the only one of our vendors who called and said we're going to reduce our fees… we know you're having a hard struggle," the CEO said. "I've never had that happen ever, in the course of my career."

The CNO said that it reflected Premier Anesthesia's dedication to the patients. "They wanted to be a team player in providing the same level of better care at a less cost to the hospital, and ultimately the patient."

The company's commitment to partnership doesn't stop with helping in a crisis, although that certainly tends to separate the roses from the thorns. Its diligence is obvious every day. Premier Anesthesia identifies strengths and weaknesses in the anesthesia department and addresses them head-on with expertise and evidence based management. It sets standards and holds its staff accountable. "They talked about how they could work with the surgeons and OB doctors to change practice patterns, boosting quality of patient care," the CNO said.

The Results

It's often been said that when times get tough, you find out who you can count on. This small hospital found out. Like so many other facilities around the country, it counts on Premier Anesthesia. In the CEO's words, "The one characteristic more than anything else that makes a good partnership is trust. Premier Anesthesia earns that trust every single day.

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