AAG is an associateship in which the anaesthetists share the cost of running the office. The aim of the group is to provide all the support services required so that anaesthetists can focus entirely on clinical anaesthesia and patient care. These are the services provided:
AAG maintains a computerised schedule for each anaesthetist which is accessible through a secure website login or can be pushed to a mobile device such as a smart phone or iPad using ActiveSync. Extra work is offered to those anaesthetists who are available as the request for anaesthetic cover is made to the office. Cover for vacations and conferences can generally be organised by the office. Operating schedules and patient details are made available through the scheduling system as they are received from surgeons’ rooms. Late changes can be communicated by phone, SMS, e-mail, fax or online login according to the individual anaesthetist’s preference.
AAG operates a dedicated service for communicating with patients preoperatively. While this is not always necessary, particularly for minor procedures, many anaesthetists prefer that patients be sent a personalised information packet in advance of surgery with detailed information about their upcoming anaesthesia, who their anaesthetist will be and what the expected fees and insurance rebates will be. For some procedures, payment in advance can be organised. These services allow the anaesthetist to focus on the medical care of the patient on the day of surgery rather than on the administrative details.
As the members of AAG are associates, each anaesthetist decides his or her own fees and billing policies: No-gap or independently set fees, discounts for pensioners or others and any other options are at the discretion of the individual anaesthetist. AAG offers the facility for payment by cheque/cash/money order, BPay, credit cards/EFTPOS and Eclipse. Banking is done directly to the anaesthetist’s account; AAG does not hold any fee income. Quotes can be checked and invoices generated immediately in the operating room on an iPad or laptop and sent electronically to the office for processing.
Reports can be emailed weekly or monthly for reconciliation with bank statements and to account for work performed but not yet paid for. GST reports or other detailed reports for BAS purposes are available. Remote login to the accounts database is available so that members can follow the processing of their accounts and generate detailed reports on their own computer via any current browser.
AAG facilitates communication with colleagues by advising members of upcoming CME meetings at the private hospitals at which we provide services. A number of members are also involved in independent case discussion meetings of private practice anaesthetists to which other members may be invited. AAG can coordinate the “Patient Experience Survey” ANZCA CME activity for members on request.
If you’re an anaesthetist interested in joining our group, please speak to one of the members or else give the office a call and speak with the practice manager to get all the details. Decisions about the running of the group and about new members are made by consensus.