February 1, 2023

More anesthesiology residency positions may help with staffing costs, workforce shortages

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Adding more anesthesiology residency positions, even without federal funding, may help hospitals save staffing costs and address shortages of anesthesia personnel, finds a study presented January 27 at the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ ADVANCE 2023, in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center compared the cost of anesthesiology residents vs certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), factoring in work hours and supervision ratios.

They found that expanding their program to include more residents was financially beneficial:

  • The cost per hour of clinical coverage for residents was $29.14.
  • Paying CRNAs to work overtime was $181.12 per hour of clinical coverage.
  • Paying CRNAs to work extra shifts was $255.31 per hour of clinical coverage.

Over 3 years, the addition of three additional residents would result in cost savings between $440,000 and $730,000 for the first year, $840,000 and $1.4 million for the second year, and $1.2 million and $1.9 million for the third year, the researchers say.

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