Each ASA President has the unique, privileged honor of serving at the helm of the best medical specialty association in the world, and of representing the most esteemed physicians in medicine. As I am sure it was for each of my predecessors, it is gratifying, and humbling, to see a year’s worth of efforts cataloged so vibrantly and succinctly as it has been in the following pages. Just take a quick look – we accomplished so much last year! In the face of enormous challenges, this world-class organization and its members did not just survive – we thrived. And we thrived on so many levels and in so many areas:
Advocacy: We reduced proposed Medicare payment cuts, led the fight against insurer-friendly rules of the final No Surprises Act, made strides to correct the 33% Problem, created the ASA Payment Progress Initiative, and met every threat to physician-led and physician-delivered care in the VA.
Scientific Discovery: The incredibly successful in-person ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021 annual meeting was, literally, a Celebration of Science with unforgettable plenary lectures and a comprehensive Research Track. FAER celebrated its 35th year of developing the next generation of physician scientists, and our Journal Anesthesiology achieved its highest impact factor ever.
Education: ASA’s education products continue to be created by us, for us, including the enduringly-exciting SimSTAT portfolio, the all-new POCUS Certification, and ACE and SEE to keep us current on fundamentals and new science.
Leadership: We continued to build the leadership of tomorrow with our redesigned and popular Executive Physician Leadership Program, our MASTERCLASS in San Diego, and our all-new Anesthesia Quality and Patient Safety Meeting, which underscored our continued leadership role in patient safety.
And there was so much more, as you can see below. I hope you are as proud of our 2021 achievements as I am. We did this together. I am incredibly grateful for each ASA member for the trust you placed in me as your 2021 ASA President. Without your collective guidance, dedication, expertise, and perseverance, we could never have had such success. Thank you! Together, in 2021, and for every year going forward, you – we – are ASA!
ASA again saw strong membership growth in 2021.
On top of the great membership numbers, member satisfaction reached new highs in 2021:
■ 32,111 Active
■ 8,468 Resident
■ 3,274 Medical Student
■ 2,433 Affiliate, Educational
■ 1,288 Anesthesiologist Assistants, AA Student
■ 403 Anesthesia Administrators and Executives
■ 7,632 Retired
55,644 Total Members
In its first full year, the ASA Community discussion forum continues to be one of the Society’s most engaging member benefits, netting an average 10,000 pageviews, 6,000 member logins, and 50 new threads per month. In 2021, ASA Community:
2021 was a year of outstanding growth in our Resident Component and Medical Student activities.
Residency Engagement in 2021 included:
Medical Student Engagement included:
From medical title misappropriation, to Medicare payment cuts, to battling the aggressive business practices of big insurance carriers, 2021 was one of our most challenging — yet productive — advocacy years in memory. Our dedicated Advocacy team and the ASA membership rose to each challenge to help us advance our practice and secure our future.
We launched the ASA Payment Progress Initiative, a wide-ranging effort to improve Medicare and commercial payment rates for anesthesiologists.
ASA secured important concessions during rulemaking for the No Surprises Act, including ensuring the use of the ASA RVG for payments, permitting the bundling of claims by groups, and creating guardrails around insurers’ initial or interim payments.
ASA worked tirelessly with the physician and hospital community to secure partial relief from January 2022 Medicare payment cuts.
The Society formally requested the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate United Healthcare’s damaging business practices, and executed a public media campaign on the aggressive negotiating techniques of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Together with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Radiology, ASA filed a lawsuit against the federal government, charging that the implementing regulations of the No Surprises Act will hurt anesthesiologists’ practices and will ultimately harm patients and access to care.
ASAPAC #1 AGAIN!
ASAPAC was again the nation’s top physician PAC and one of the nation’s top health care PACs.
As a member of the Ad Hoc Coalition for Medical Research, ASA advocated for increased NIH funding for FY 2022.
The ASA Grassroots Network reached 20,000 members, with 40,000 actions taken in support of ASA legislative and regulatory priorities.
Fighting VA bureaucrats in their effort to dismantle physician-led, team-based anesthesia, ASA’s 2021 Veteran Summer generated over 8,000 actions urging Congress to intervene to halt this threat to Veterans’ health and safety.
ASA endorsed and built support for the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act, which would allow interest-free deferment on dental and medical student loans for residency.
In the States
ASA is committed to lifelong learning each and every year, but 2021 stood out for the continued success of enduring products like ACE and SEE, impressive growth in online offerings, and some new entries that will set the standard for years to come.
The successful 2021 Virtual Simulation Education Network Summit in March featured a first-ever collaborative session with the American College of Surgeons.
Anesthesia SimSTAT – which features five powerful, interactive screen-based simulations of crisis scenarios – remained very popular. Over 1,500 individuals enrolled in the program in 2021.
POCUS – Designed Just for Anesthesiologists!
Released in March, the Diagnostic Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certificate is a five-part online pathway to improve learners’ skills and competence, and to achieve distinction in POCUS image acquisition and interpretation. This program is offered exclusively to physicians and is the only specialty-specific program of its kind!
• 960 learners in 2021, with 46 awarded the Certificate of Completion
A local Mentor Support Program was launched in July to help mentors support mentees in this activity and to recognize their time and contribution with digital badges and awards.
Through collaboration with the Uniformed Services Society of Anesthesiologists (USSA), we offer deep discounts to all physician military personnel.
Re-designed as a four-day program, the popular Executive Physician Leadership Program, in partnership with Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, SOLD OUT in September.
Once again, our MASTER CLASS – this year addressing “Trust, Change Management, and Building for the Future” – was a big hit at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021.
Our ever-evolving Lead the Leader: Leadership Development Suite continued to offer future and current leaders resources they can find nowhere else.
In 2021, for the first time, ABA diplomates were given the option to earn CME when they registered for the ABA MOCA Minute, with credits issued by ASA. Over 25,000 ABA diplomates participated in this program.
It was one of the most anticipated ANESTHESIOLOGY annual meetings ever. We’d been waiting two years for the return of our in-person event, and ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021 in San Diego did not disappoint. With the best pandemic protocols in the meetings industry in place, our members were able to safely enjoy the world-class education and comradery that only a live ASA annual meeting can offer.
An impressive participation:
Live attendees: 5,948
Virtual attendees: 2,251
Exhibiting Companies: 197
Science is the foundation of our specialty and our practice, and our Research Track underscored just how strong that foundation is, with more than 20 research-focused sessions and events, including Anesthesiology journal activities and FAER sessions, as well as paper and electronic abstract presentations.
Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin wowed the audience during the Keynote Address, offering expert insights on how leaders are made.
James C. Eisenach, MD, honored one of our specialty’s greatest pioneers with the John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science: Gadgeteering for Pain Relief. Dr. Severinghaus, the lecture’s namesake, passed away in June.
It was like no other Rovenstine Lecture before it – Steven L. Shafer, MD, FASA, channeled Dr. Ted Eger himself in his talk, “Ever Eger: My Love Affair With Anesthesia” giving us intimate insights into a pioneering scientist who forever changed our specialty.
The 2021 House of Delegates in San Diego approved 23 new or revised statements and a new standing committee – the Committee on Environmental Health.
The virtual 2021 Conference on Practice Management was a resounding success, with 1,269 participants, including 421 residents. The conference lived up to its theme of “Innovation Through Adversity and Adaptation.”
The completely redesigned Anesthesia Quality & Patient Safety Meeting featured two incredible keynote lecturers: Lee A. Fleisher, MD, CMO and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality for CMS, and Cliff Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, Director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the ACS. The meeting was a huge success – with an increase in attendance from the previous Anesthesia Quality Meeting of almost 500%!
ASA continued to be the “go to” voice in the specialty of anesthesiology, with year-round coverage in top-tier national and local consumer and trade media. In 2021, we had 600 placements that reached a potential audience of 1.39 billion. Hits were included in outlets like “Good Morning America,” Forbes, The New York Times, Reuters, Modern Healthcare, NBC News AARP, the Chicago Tribune, Politico, Doctor Radio, State News, and Physician’s Weekly.
The amazing science presented at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021 led to more than 380 news placements, reaching an estimated audience of 578.2 million.
ASA social media accounts posted promotional content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, earning:
Since its launch in May, the Made for This Moment (MFTM) digital ad campaign earned more than 8.2 million impressions, 5.5 million video ad views, and 21,391 website visits.
ASA added a variety of new resources to support the REVIVEme.com project, which aims to bring medical, law enforcement, and emergency service stakeholders together to work collaboratively toward limiting injury related to opioid overdose.
Our new resource “Be the Solution: Sell Your C-Suite on the Value and Leadership of Anesthesiologists” was developed through the MFTM campaign with content to equip ASA members to meaningfully engage with health care executives.
We launched the Enhancing Patient Communications Program, a member-exclusive resource to guide positive patient interactions.
Collaboration continued with our 52 component societies, 12 affiliated subspecialty societies, and 13 international societies. These included virtual education, joint statements, specialty-focused “meet-ups” at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021, and additional joint offerings, including new component society websites.
Our first-ever Pain Summit was held in February, with 14 surgical specialties as participants. In October, a consensus statement that grew out of the summit was published in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.
continues to be the best scientific journal in our field, with an impact factor of 7.892 and a five-year impact factor of 8.139 – the journal’s highest impact factor ever!
NEW this year! Anesthesiology garnered a Journal Citation Indicator of 2.56* – ranking it #1 in the field.
The journal also saw a 21% increase in citations – the greatest number of citations to any anesthesia journal.
*2020 Journal Impact Factor, Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2021).
Other journal highlights:
The Anesthesiology booth was a popular destination at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021, where visitors were treated to a creative recap of the journal’s activities.
In October, we published the first-ever ASA Monitor+ supplement, titled “Anesthesiology 2030: What Does the Future Hold?” featuring 15 articles on issues of critical importance to anesthesiologists.
In 2021, the ASA Monitor achieved:
In 2021, the Anesthesia Foundation made 13 loans to residents and fellows for $95,000. Many of the loans made by The Anesthesia Foundation during the pandemic have been repaid in full as loan holders regained financial stability. The AF leadership also received many messages of gratitude the assistance they provided over the year.
After being canceled in 2020, the APSF Stoelting Conference was back in September 2021 and better than ever with “Clinician Safety: To Care is Human,” an event focused on improving the health and well-being of the perioperative clinician workforce. It was also an important transition year, as the APSF welcomed incoming President Dan Cole, MD, FASA, and Vice President Meghan Lane-Fall.
In 2021, FAER celebrated two important milestones: its 35th anniversary and reaching $50 million in grants and programs awarded. In 2021, the Foundation funded 17 anesthesiologists, totaling $3,400,000, matched 50 Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellows at 33 host sites, and sponsored 42 Resident Scholars to present scientific research posters at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021.
The ASA Charitable Foundation sponsored participation in the virtual ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021 meeting for nine Global Scholars and provided them the opportunity to present a Challenging Medical Case. The Charitable Foundation continued collaboration with the ASA Committee on Global Humanitarian Outreach on the Overseas Teaching Programs in Rwanda and Guyana, and the Resident International Anesthesia Scholarship Program.
Now a Silver Level organization in the StEPs program for AASLH, the WLM had a productive year that saw an increase in financial support and collections, an increase in research inquiries from ASA members, and an explosion in social media activity and interactions. The WLM also saw progress in its long-term plan for a permanent collections space.
Quality Resources for High-Quality Care
In 2021, the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) continued efforts to improve the design of data collection platforms for NACOR, AIRS, and Closed Claims, with an aim to strengthen member value while continuing to build a richer dataset.
Quality and Regulatory Affairs highlights included:
As part of ASA’s Payment Progress Initiative, we launched an Alternative Payment Model Toolkit and Frailty Toolkit, with an accompanying podcast and webinar.
And the interactive PSH Implementation Guide and Course was created to help learners define the PSH model’s principles and components and how the guide can be used in one’s practice.
It was another exciting year for Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) activities, including launch of the PSH Learning Collaborative Roadmap to Success, which aims to increase awareness of the Collaborative’s success and how its lessons can be applied at other organizations.
Total = $50.7M
■ Membership Dues - $24.9
■ Continuing Education Products - $9.3
■ Annual Meeting - $7.9
■ Grants and Contributions - $2.7
■ Other Income - $3.0
■ Publications and Journals - $2.5
■ Other Meetings - $0.5
Total = $99.4M
■ Investments - $85.7
■ Cash - $12.2M
■ Receivables - $1.5
Restricted and Unrestricted Reserves 2014-2021
($ in millions)
Hundreds of companies provided $5,325,557 million in financial support for ASA’s programs and initiatives in 2021 through exhibit and virtual meeting sponsorships, publications advertising, industry support, and education grants.
• $2,060,150 million Unrestricted Support / Sponsorship Revenue
• $2,698,31 million Meetings Exhibits / Advertising
• $567,097 Restricted / CME Education Funding
In 2021, the ASA Monitor published several articles highlighting the many resources and opportunities that ASA corporate partnerships provide.
A big thank you to ASA’s Industry Supporters our most engaged and committed partners:
Like Dr. Philip, it makes me incredibly proud to look back at the last year and count the numerous victories our Society achieved. Dr. Philip has been a guiding force in much of that success, and I thank her for her leadership in uncertain times.
Looking ahead in 2022 and beyond, we are sure to be met with further turbulence and uncertainty. In fact we already are. As an optimist, this doesn’t discourage me. I believe that nothing worth achieving is ever easy. But more than my personal optimism, I know that any challenge we are to face will be met with the collective strength of more than 55,000 individuals who are unified in the goal of protecting our society, our profession, and our patients.
It is a great honor to be chosen to lead this storied Society. An unbroken tradition of leadership excellence helped get us where we are in 2022 – a healthy and growing membership base, financial and foundational security, robust program and educational development, and ever-increasing interorganizational partnerships. I look forward to serving ASA and each of you as we navigate a challenging but very bright future.
It was a great privilege to have worked alongside ASA’s leadership and for the ASA membership during an enormously challenging 2021. Even more satisfying is the growth that took place in this world-class Society in the face of such challenges. Dr. Philip’s leadership was inspirational and unwavering, and I thank her for her wisdom and friendship during a very eventful year.
I am immensely proud of the health of this Society. Our membership continues to grow, we are fiscally sound, we are the model of best practices in association management, and we continue to attract and retain the highest-quality professional staff. Because of this, we are able to offer our members quality customer service and resources that are the envy of our industry.
As Dr. Clark said, many challenges remain, but our future is bright. I am excited to be working with Dr. Clark, the Administrative Council, and every ASA member to carry our current momentum into 2022.
The 2021 ASA Administrative Council opted for a socially distant group photo to ensure COVID-19 safety for those who were able to be present.
Floor level, from left to right: Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, FACHE, FASA; Ronald L. Harter, MD, FASA; Randall M. Clark, MD, FASA.
Stair level, left to right: Patrick Giam, MD, FASA; Donald E. Arnold, MD, FASA; Beverly K. Philip, MD, FACA, FASA; Kraig S. de Lanzac, MD, FASA; Michael Champeau, MD, FASA; and James “Jay” Mesrobian, MD, FASA.
Inset: Kenneth Elmassian, DO, FASA; Andrew D. Rosenberg, MD, FASA; and Jeffrey T. Mueller, MD, FASA, were unable to participate in the photo due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.