The best strategy for orthopedic practice, ASC growth through key partnerships


Peter Slate, chief business development officer for Phoenix-based HOPCo, the management company of The CORE Institute, discusses the biggest opportunity for strategic growth.

Mr. Slate will share his expertise as a speaker at the Becker's ASC 26th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, Oct. 24-26, 2019 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at 

Question: Where do you see the best opportunity for your center's strategic growth? What areas are you investing in today?

Peter Slate: In addition to providing great musculoskeletal care to our patients through our 200-plus providers, HOPCo owns and manages hospitals and ASCs, and partners with payers and health systems to develop unique value-based care programs. We have proprietary data analytics and software-based tools (HOPCo's VIRT2 Health software platform) that allow us to capture and analyze claims and outcomes data to develop the most appropriate care pathways for our patients. We have spent the last 14 years capturing data on the musculoskeletal continuum of care, which gives a unique prospective on appropriate care pathways and cost of care. This visibility has afforded us the opportunity to successfully go at-risk for the musculoskeletal spend on a capitated basis while improving the quality of musculoskeletal care for our patients.

The HOPCo team is passionate about providing great care for the broadest population of patients. We feel it is our responsibility to take a leadership role to improve musculoskeletal care while simultaneously containing the costs. As such, we will continue to invest in three key areas: (1) growing our clinical platform (organically and through partnerships) to integrate the full continuum of musculoskeletal care, (2) developing our data analytics platform, and (3) expanding our partnerships around value-based care.

Q: How do you see your center evolving in the future?

PS: HOPCo is focused on stakeholder alignment between musculoskeletal care providers, health systems and payers to provide integrated care for patients. By developing strong partnerships with stakeholders along the musculoskeletal care continuum, we can remove needless inefficiencies and improve communication among care providers, which results in better care. We have proven this to be true through our outcomes data and our unique ability to bend the cost curve across the musculoskeletal spend.

Building successful partnerships starts with finding the right partners with aligned incentives. But just as importantly, for a partnership to be sustainable, it must be well managed through effective communication, joint oversight and engagement, and an ability to change as the healthcare market changes…which it certainly will. To build successful partnerships, HOPCo has invested a great deal in partnership management and integration infrastructure.

We have grown our core business development and integration team, our hospital service line management team, and have developed a medical economics division for claims analytics and outcomes management. This enables us to develop sustainable clinically integrated care networks (CINs) and partnerships with payers and health systems that show amazing results. Looking forward over the next five years, we expect our CIN partnerships to be a much larger part of our business.

Q: What procedures or specialties do you see moving more outpatient over the next two years?

PS: There is an opportunity to do a far greater number of total joint and spine procedures in ambulatory settings. This is being incentivized by payers as well as through advancements in minimally invasive technology and physician training. That is, there are more cases that can be done well in an outpatient setting, and more physicians feeling comfortable doing them.

As more cases move to the outpatient setting it will be critical that ASCs make a greater investment in operations, staff training and patient education to support this new care paradigm. The ASC's that recognize the need for and make these investments will be well positioned for continued growth.

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