What Are the Best Ideas for Orthopedics Now? 3 Industry Leaders Weigh in

At the 10th Annual Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference in Chicago on June 15, 2012, three healthcare professionals in the orthopedic sector gave their take on what some of the best practices are in orthopedics today in a session moderated by Chuck Lauer, author and former publisher of Modern Healthcare.

Michael Redler, MD, a board-certified surgeon in hand surgery and sports medicine and founding partner of the Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center in Trumbull, Conn., said orthopedic surgeons are in a unique position. Currently, physicians are taking employment offers at hospitals at incredibly high rates, but orthopedics surgeons have an ability to stay independent because of the mass shift of services to the outpatient setting. In order to stay autonomous, though, orthopedic surgeons have to distinguish themselves to both patients and payors.

"Orthopedic groups are larger, and to stay independent, they have to control enough volume so the insurers can't ignore [them]," Dr. Redler said.

Greg Horner, MD, managing partner of Smithfield Surgical Partners and an orthopedic surgeon based in northern California, said hospitals are currently overbuilt for the future. Joint, spine and heart procedures are moving away from the hospital, and orthopedic surgeons can take advantage of this trend if entrepreneurship and ASCs are a part of their strategy.

"There is a huge profit margin there, and once orthopedic surgeons think of it as their own ecosystem, they can build off that for any service in the healthcare system," Dr. Horner said.

Walter Spires Jr., CEO of ANOVA Orthopaedic Solutions, agreed that orthopedic surgeons will need to find channel their inner entrepreneur to stay independent, and if they don't, they will have to look at some other type of "strategic alliance" to get the most out of their medical specialty.

"If you don't want to be employed, you have to find some other strategic alliance — joint venture, accountable care organizations or other collaborations," Mr. Spires said.

More Articles on the 10th Annual Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management Conference:

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