Why ASCs are the key to orthopedic success: Q&A with Dr. Mark Kerner

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As traditional areas of profit for orthopedic surgeons are in flux, some orthopedic surgeons think an ASC focus is the way to maintain profit.

Orthopedic surgeon Mark Kerner, MD, of Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine in Newport News, Va., spoke to Becker's ASC Review on how orthopedic surgeons should focus on ASCs. 

Question: What could make or break an orthopedic practice in the next two years?

Dr. Mark Kerner: There is an increasing premium on astute management and staff. Margins throughout orthopedic medicine are tightening, insurance companies have realized little pushback from surgical denials and expenses are increasing. 

Previous areas of profit — real estate, MRI, physical therapy — have dramatically smaller margins than in decades past. The profit center that is peaking is the ASC. To remain competitive, orthopedic groups will need to astutely manage these businesses to maintain the ancillary income stream that is crucial to meeting income expectations. It is not medicine. It's business.

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