As consolidation swallows up the healthcare industry, independent physicians must band together to solidify their place. Established in 2014, The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics sought to do just that.
Starting with about 125 orthopedic surgeons, the practice now unites about 170 independent orthopedic surgeons from the Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland regions with the common goal of meeting the highest standards of patient care. The Centers includes 29 care centers, staffed by about 300 total providers, including physician assistants, physical therapists and other positions.
"The timing was right, because people could see the changes coming in medicine," says Nicholas Grosso, MD, of the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland division. "Even if you're a 12-man group, you're really nothing compared to these hospitals."
Dr. Grosso was among the founding surgeons creating The Centers, which has not lost any of its member divisions since its inception. The practice seeks to offer personalized medicine, which its surgeons argue can only be done in private practice.
"We've preserved the private practice model," Dr. Grosso says of The Centers. "We think it is the most efficient and effective way to care for patients."
In its first year of business, The Centers set up the logistical groundwork to succeed, such as creating a compliance plan and implementing a revenue cycle management system.
"This is they year of doing the things we want to do," says Dr. Grosso. The Centers hired a consultant to train all employees in customer service, with an emphasis on enhancing patient satisfaction.
Focused on the value-based model, The Centers partnered with Remedy Partners to analyze potential bundled payments. The practice plans to bundle on the private side with commercial payers. Dr. Grosso says The Centers has identified seven bundles to execute.
As for the future of healthcare, Dr. Grosso notes there are several other practices propagating missions similar to The Centers around the nation. The goal is ubiquitous —"let's maintain private practice and business will come to us."
"I think the role of private practice is going to become more important than less important," says Dr. Grosso. "The wheel is going to turn one more time."