Why 1 CEO is worried about surgical robots

Some ASCs have begun adding robotic technologies to strengthen their orthopedic programs. 

Alfonso del Granado, administrator and CEO of Lubbock, Texas-based Covenant High Plains Surgery Centers, recently joined Becker's to discuss why this trend concerns him.  

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Question: What healthcare trends are you wary of?

Alfonso del Granado: I'm wary of the increasing incursion of robotics into procedures that could be done laparoscopically. Although we have robots for our total joints program and our general surgery service line, these were necessary to bring new volume into our centers, especially total joints. But of course the added expenses are not accompanied by concomitant increases in reimbursement rates, so we work with our surgeons to limit the number and types of cases that get scheduled on the robots. I should note that our general surgeons have been excellent partners in communicating the rationale for every robotic case, but it behooves everyone to keep an eye out to protect against robotic mission creep.

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