3 keys for successful relationships between orthopedic, spine practices and their ASCs

Business aside, the keys to fostering strong, symbiotic relationships between specialty practices and their ASCs include the same basic tenets of any positive relationship.

During a panel discussion at Becker's ASC Review's 15th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference + The Future of Spine, Michael J. Chmell, MD, medical director of the OrthoIllinois Surgery Center in Rockford, and Chris Bishop, president of Westchester, Ill.-based Regent Surgical Health, discussed the importance of communication, coordination and team building in the development and maintenance of strong relationships between ASCs and orthopedic and spine practices.

Dan Nielsen, founder and CEO of America's Healthcare Leaders, moderated the discussion.

Here are three takeaways from the discussion.

1. Prioritize interpersonal relationships. As more surgical cases become suitable for the outpatient setting, orthopedic and spine surgeons will work more closely with their ASC partners. According to Mr. Bishop, basic communication and interpersonal skills are an often overlooked aspect of smooth-running operations. For example, when a surgeon gets a case, he or she will "hand it off to the scheduler," said Mr. Bishop. "But if [the surgeon] doesn't know the scheduler's kids' names, if they have never gone out together for lunch, or never really tried to get to know them at all, it won't work well. There must be a relationship there."

2. Become an expert coordinator. Spine and total joint surgeries are increasingly being performed in ASCs instead of hospitals, but because of their size, ASCs don't have as many tools and resources that surgeons may be used to at hospitals. For instance, ASCs more commonly run into issues with scheduling and coordinating use of certain low-volume tools.

"When it comes to maintaining block scheduling, keeping surgeons happy and deciding who gets prime time, everyone's a cook in the kitchen," said Dr. Chmell. Therefore, ASCs should focus on careful coordination in sterile processing and equipment management, such as the use of C-arms and tables, to keep things running as smoothly as possible for the surgeons, he added.

3. Communicate openly about value-based payments. The healthcare industry at large is moving toward value-based care delivery and reimbursement models, but each incremental step in that direction can be challenging for providers. "With value-based care, we're taking small steps and organizing our own bundled payment agreements [with payers]," said Mr. Bishop. "What we think will work and what payers think are two separate ends of the spectrum. It's highly confusing." Therefore, ASCs must create "smart" provider teams. "If you have the right team in place, you'll be able to move quickly, adapt and thrive," Mr. Bishop added.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Podcast