For Anesthesiologists Who Charge by the Hour, is the Bill Only for Time in Surgery?

When an anesthesiologist (recommended by the plastic surgeon) charges by the hour for general anesthesia, is the clock ticking only during the actual surgery? For example, I was recently told of a plastic surgeon who was 2 hours behind schedule for a surgery that took 3 hours, and the person was billed for 5 hours of time. This seems highly unreasonable, especially as it wasn't the patient's fault. Is this a standard billing practice, and something patients should be worried about?

Doctor Answers 2

Anesthesia fees

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I only know how it works in my office. Anesthesia time starts about 15-30 minutes prior to the patient going to sleep and then until about 15-30 minutes after they wake up.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Anesthesiology Charges

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Anesthesiologists and Anesthetists (CRNA) charge in different ways. Some are employed by Plastic surgeons and their centers others work with surgeons and bill for the time they are involved with the case.  Most people who deal with lawyers and contractors understand they will be billed for "Time and supplies". While Plastic surgeons make a good effort to estimate how long a procedure would last, it is an estimate. It may take lees but may take more time to accomplisk. (The same is true with a construction job or a legal project).  While it is rarely the patient's fault an operation took longer, an anesthesiologist is also not to blame if his/her services were required for longer than was originally estimated. No one likes to work longer than they have to, including Plastic surgeons. But the vast majority of Plastic surgeons are obsessed with producing the best possible results and sometimes it takes a little while longer to do so.

I hope that helps a little.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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