Anesthesiology April 2021, Vol. 134, 526–540.
Health care is undergoing major transformation with a shift from fee-for-service care to fee-for-value. The advent of new care delivery and payment models is serving as a driver for value-based care. Hospitals, payors, and patients increasingly expect physicians and healthcare systems to improve outcomes and manage costs. The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on surgical and procedural practices further highlights the urgency and need for anesthesiologists to expand their roles in perioperative care, and to impact system improvement. While there have been substantial advances in anesthesia care, perioperative complications and mortality after surgery remain a key concern. Anesthesiologists are in a unique position to impact perioperative health care through their multitude of interactions and influences on various aspects of the perioperative domain, by using the surgical experience as the first touchpoint to reengage the patient in their own health care. Among the key interventions that are being effectively instituted by anesthesiologists include proactive engagement in preoperative optimization of patients’ health; personalization and standardization of care delivery by segmenting patients based upon their complexity and risk; and implementation of best practices that are data-driven and evidence-based and provide structure that allow the patient to return to their optimal state of functional, cognitive, and psychologic health. Through collaborative relationships with other perioperative stakeholders, anesthesiologists can consolidate their role as clinical leaders driving value-based care and healthcare transformation in the best interests of patients.