The 3 healthcare trends Dr. Thomas Obermeyer is watching most closely

Carly Behm -  

Thomas Obermeyer, of Barrington Orthopedic Specialists in Schaumburg, Ill., is following the evolution of outpatient surgery, value-based care and consolidation in orthopedics.

He spoke on the "Becker's Spine and Orthopedic Podcast" about why he's paying attention to those trends the most.

This is an excerpt. Listen to the full podcast here.

Question: What are three trends in healthcare that you're following most closely today?

Dr. Thomas Obermeyer: The three trends that I find most relevant probably in today's orthopedic landscape would probably be firstly the shift to ambulatory surgery centers and the ongoing interest in performing a larger complement of orthopedic operations in the ambulatory setting. As our experience has grown with outpatient surgery, we've realized that we can provide a safe and effective treatment that's cost-effective in the ambulatory surgery center setting. I think that's only going to expand as the years go by.

Secondly, I think bundled payments are a trend that is going to be interesting to see how it evolves as we shift more towards a value-based incentive structure to try to align all different stakeholders in the patient's care. It's been interesting as an orthopedic group where we participated in the BPCI program and then had to pull out because of the changing environment and hoping that Medicare and some of the payers can provide a sustainable path towards these value-based solutions is going to be interesting to see.

Thirdly, I would say the trend towards integration and consolidation where you see you're going to see an increased prevalence of consolidation and mergers amongst orthopedic groups as they hope to provide efficiencies of scale. Our practice has maintained a model of independence where we found that that was the best fit for us, for our patients, our physicians and our employees, but it's an ongoing evolution. There are multiple forces in the orthopedic landscape that may allow that to be an evolving conversation.

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