Southern Arizona Anesthesia (SAA) is an 80 physician group practice in Tucson, Arizona and the largest independent group practice in Arizona.
“We’re unique in that we are an all physician model group with an emphasis on fair and egalitarian practices,” said Dr. David Joseph, CEO of SAA. “Our ability to work through challenges has allowed us to become stronger and more unified over the years.”
As a result, they’ve grown from just eight physicians to more than 80 in the last 32 years attracting anesthesiologists from top residency programs across the country.
They also credit their ability to track data. “In the earlier years, the data driven portion was really focused on financial metrics, on knowing everything about ourselves and the hospital environments,” said Joseph. “More recently we’ve looked at quality metrics and compared them on a national level.”
“For many years we were happy with the coverage we had,” said Joseph. “We had great rates compared to everybody else in the state. We were paying less, well under half of what the average anesthesiologist in the state was paying.”
Until they met a new broker, Julie Shumer. Armed with SAA’ data, she was convinced she could present something that was even more innovative.
Southern Arizona Anesthesia saved more than $168,000 plus received custom retro plan pay dividends to the group during their favorable loss years.
“We were not aware that there were additional savings out there,” said Joseph. “But she came back with something that was vastly superior to what we had resulting in a retro-program that gave us a rebate based on our loss runs. It saved us a tremendous amount of money.”
But the support didn’t stop there.
“Over the years, she has become a true asset to our company,” said Joseph. “She is someone that I trust and know that I can go to with pretty much any insurance question and she’ll get the answer back to me.”
Shumer added, “At the core we are more concerned with building a long-term partnership with clients ensuring they know that we will fight harder than any other broker to help them save maximum dollars all while reducing risk.
Beyond the broker relationship, SAA relies heavily on Shumer and The Signature B&B Companies to help them stay on top of constantly evolving healthcare changes.
“You’ll be halfway through the year before you even know what rules have changed especially with so many patients shifting into Medicare, which for some specialties is great, but for anesthesiologists MediCare pays 20- to 25-percent of commercial rates so that’s a big problem for us,” said Joseph.
SAA has been loyal client of Shumber for more than 10 years.
When asked why he continues his working relationship with Shumer and The Signature B&B Companies he said, “Unfortunately, the way the insurance industry is set up, there’s a disincentive for a lot of brokers to fight for their client and try and reduce the premiums because that reduces their commissions.”
“So finding someone who had both the integrity to really bring forth a unique proposal and industry knowledge and expertise to come up with out of the box creative programs was extremely helpful,” said Joseph.