Who is this new group? Will they change my schedule? Will they cut my pay? Will they cut staff? The amount of questions and speculation of what is to come will wear you out mentally.
I was on vacation, overlooking the beach, eating breakfast when I received the phone call. You will no longer be a hospital employee as the anesthesia department will now be managed by a national anesthesia management group. What a way to start the vacation. Now, I have to admit this was a nicer setting compared to the next time I was told we were switching anesthesia management groups.
Two new groups within four years at the same facility. The second transition was prompted from a change in hospital administration and who they were more comfortable working with as a partner. Even though it was a different organization, the transition process was very similar to the first time. And like most things knowing what to expect can make it a little easier.
The announcement will normally come out of the blue. Although, the second time we went through it, a recruiter from an anesthesia locums agency messed up and contacted one of my colleagues about a position opening up in the future. The recruiter explained a new group was taking over management at a hospital in our area and the description they gave of the facility matched ours like they read it off our website. If it was not for that we would have had no idea what was to come.
Administration will set up a meeting with the anesthesia staff and the new management group. It is at this meeting the administration will talk about why they decided to make a change and then introduce the representatives for the new group. The new group will give a presentation about the company and give an outline of what to expect for the transition process.
A meeting will be organized for individuals to have an opportunity to talk to the transition team privately. They will ask you open ended questions to obtain a better understanding of the group culture, what works well and what needs improvement. This helps them formulate a plan that works best for your site, so be honest. Now is the time to bring issues up that you might have felt uncomfortable approaching the outgoing anesthesia management group about.
This is also your opportunity to ask questions and share concerns that are relevant to your situation. Two things to remember. This is your chance to interview them and see if they are a group you will want to work for in the end. Second, stress levels are high and emotions can get the better of you. Stay cool and remain professional.
Time to hang out with the new anesthesia management group in a social setting. It’s a continuation of getting to know each other in a laid back environment, normally centered around a dinner.
The Final Mile
Once the new group has all the information they need, they will create a contract for each individual provider and a overall plan for the future of how the group will operate. A timetable will be set for signing of the contracts. You are given time to read over the contract, send it to a lawyer if you desire, and ask the new group questions or possible changes to it. They are on a schedule also. They need to know who is on board and whether they need to hire more staff or arrange locum tenens providers to cover a gap if some providers do not stay.
If you choose to sign the contract, the credentialing process and benefits enrollment will begin. A representative from the anesthesia management company will be appointed to assist you. You can help be prepared by going over their credentialing checklist and having the documents ready before they ask for it.
Now, nothing can fully prepare you for the stress created from the transitioning to a new anesthesia management group, but hopefully having a basic understanding of their playbook can help mitigate the anxiety of the change.