Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

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Q&A with Stanford Anesthesia's Residency Director

December 2010

Stanford Faculty Anesthesia Teaching Scholars for 2011

We are pleased to announce the six faculty members who will be the Stanford Anesthesia Teaching Scholars for 2011. Congratulations!
This is the 3rd cohort of attendings so designated.


Teaching Scholar Program Description:
Faculty charged with teaching aspire to achieve the same high level of expertise (in education) as that expected of research faculty (in clinical or laboratory investigation).
Expanding and refining the teaching toolbox of faculty is required by the many and changing demands of graduate medical education.
To help meet this challenge the Dept. of Anesthesia at Stanford supports the Teaching Scholars Program to further train and empower faculty to improve residency education.
This one-year faculty career development award provides:

  • Funding for travel expenses/tuition (up to $2000) and up to three days non-clinical time for theTeaching Scholar to attend and education related meeting or workshop. Possible conferences include the Society for Education in Anesthesia Meetings or the ACGME Annual Educational Conference.
  • Recognition. The Teaching Scholar designation can be added to the CV as a formal title.
  • Opportunity to work with others interested in teaching.The Teaching Scholar will work on one project during the year to improve resident education. The
    Teaching Scholar works with 1-2 anesthesia residents to help with the project.

      Happy New Year!


    What is the hospital case mix index?

    Question: We heard about Stanford having a high case mix index. Can you explain what that means please?

    Answer:The higher the hospital Case Mix Index the sicker the patients, the larger the surgeries, and with more resources having to be used to care for those challenging cases.
    For example, Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford has one of the highest Case Mix Indexes in the country.

    As you know for Medicare patients a hospital is paid by DRG, or Diagnosis Related Group. For example, DRG 001 is Heart transplant or implant of heart assist system with major complications. The relative value for this DRG is 28, which means that the expected cost of taking care of that patient is 28 times the avergage cost of all Medicare inpatients across the country.

    If all of a single hospital's cases were DRG 001 then the Case Mix Index would equal 28. This is the highest relative value of all.

    Please remember that for a particular DRG case/patient, the hospital is paid by multiplying this relative weight by the blended rate (a $ figure assigned to each hospital based on a variety of variables).

    As another example, DRG 470 is knee replacement without complications which has a relative value of approximately 2. Taking the average of all of a hospital's cases would give you overall Case Mix Index. Obviously some drg cases will have a relative weight less than 1 which will drag the CMI down.

    Nationally, according to wikipedia the average hospital case Mix Index is 1.37 with a minimum of 0.58 and a max of 3.73 and a standard deviation of 0.31.

    Best wishes for the Holidays!


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