The Particulars: Primary care physicians have historically “cleared” most patients in the United States for surgery, along with surgeons. Anesthesiologists, however, may have more insight into surgical stresses and test requirements.

Data Breakdown: A medical center in New Orleans implemented a comprehensive preoperative triage system directed by anesthesiologists in an investigation. Following implementation of this system, patient charges for the seven most common medical tests were reduced by $18,187 for every 100 patients with mild disease and by $20,664 for every 100 patients with moderate disease. Cost reductions were achieved without sacrificing quality of care or success of outcomes.

Take Home Pearl: Involvement of anesthesiologists in a comprehensive triage system appears to reduce patient charges for common medical tests without sacrificing outcomes.