Physician viewpoint: Low reimbursement is causing an anesthesiologist shortage in Michigan


Minimal reimbursement rates are forcing anesthesiologists to leave Michigan at an alarming pace, according to Rick Ganzi, MD, an anesthesiologist in Holland, Mich.

In an April 27 op-ed he wrote for the Lansing State Journal, Dr. Ganzi said Michigan hospitals are being forced to shut down operating rooms because of an anesthesiologist shortage. He said nearly 100 anesthesiologist positions are currently available across the state.

Reimbursement rates for anesthesiology services in Michigan are "substantially below those paid in neighboring states," Dr. Ganzi wrote. He said the average U.S. reimbursement rate for anesthesiology services is above $82 per unit, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan pays less than $64 per unit.

Dr. Ganzi said that Michigan's reimbursement rate for anethistigology services is the third-lowest in the nation, ranking above only Louisiana and Mississippi.

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