Here's what HOPCo's 1st Wisconsin partnership will look like

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Healthcare Outcomes Performance Company's partnership with a group of orthopedic surgeons leaving Madison, Wis.-based SSM Health is aimed at providing choice, not competition in the region, according to Jason Scalise, MD.

Eleven orthopedic surgeons who resigned from the health system plan to create an independent group, with HOPCo managing. It's HOPCo's first partnership in Wisconsin.

Dr. Scalise, chief growth officer at HOPCo, told Becker's about how the partnership formed and what the next months will look like for the group.

Note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity.

Question: How did the partnership with the SSM Health orthopedic surgeons come about?

Dr. Jason Scalise: After the physicians in that market made clear their intentions to stand up their own practice, they knew they would need a strategic partner to help achieve their goals. They contacted HOPCo because of the resources and infrastructure HOPCo has in place to successfully help support growing physician practices with quality outcomes and operational expertise while helping to create meaningful partnerships with health systems and payers alike.

Q: This will be HOPCo's latest partnership in the Midwest. What drew you to this group of surgeons instead of banding with a long-established orthopedic practice in the region?

JS: Although the practice entity may be considered new, the physicians themselves and their track record of excellent patient care and quality outcomes have been part of the community for well over a decade.

The physicians have been clear in their intent to create a platform that will transform the delivery of care in their market and help champion value-based care initiatives that drive additional value for patients and the community.

Q: What is the expected timeline for establishing office locations? How soon will the surgeons begin to see patients as an independent group?

JS: The physicians have a short timeline with a goal of being operational in the next few months. To that end, they are building the foundation for administrative staff, physician assistants, medical assistants and other team members. They see this as a great opportunity for what they are sure will be a thriving medical practice offering all subspecialties of musculoskeletal care to patients across Southern Wisconsin.

Q: What's the top challenge you're anticipating? What will be your strategy competing with SSM Health and UW Health in the region?

JS: The goal of the physicians is not to "compete" with the health systems and instead has been to create a model that facilitates additional clinical excellence and value to patients and the community. SSM and UW Health are well-known and highly respected health systems and continue to provide outstanding care to the community. Our shared presence in the market, along with HOPCo's history of working collaboratively alongside health systems, will allow patients to have enhanced choices for their care.

We expect to assist the practice in creating win-win partnerships with local health systems and payers as we have done in other markets.

Q: Looking beyond Wisconsin, does HOPCo have any partnerships in the pipeline with other Midwest states?

JS: HOPCo currently has a practice platform partner in Southeast Michigan under the name the CORE Institute.

Additionally, HOPCo has launched partnerships in new geographies such as Pennsylvania and Southwest Florida in the last few months and currently has over 700+ MSK providers in our managed practices throughout the U.S. We will be announcing another new practice platform in an additional state in the Northeast U.S. before the end of the year.

Earlier this year, HOPCo acquired a U.K.-based digital care management company and is now providing our MSK care management products and services to health systems, including the National Health Service in the U.K., and several other countries.

We continue to explore opportunities to partner with quality-focused physicians, including in the Midwest, who are interested in the growth of their practice and being leaders of clinical outcomes and value-based care initiatives in their region.

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