Hospital for Special Surgery CEO: The balance between cost, efficiency and value

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | February 12, 2019 | Print  |

New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery is among the leading orthopedic-focused hospitals in the nation.

Lou Shapiro, CEO, of the hospital, shared insights into HSS' growth, reputation and plans for the future in an interview with Forbes.

Between all the subspecialties within orthopedics, HSS is commonly noted for its sports medicine service. Mr. Shapiro was asked why sports medicine has become so central to its brand. "Sports medicine is certainly an important part of what we do, but HSS leads the field across the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions that this year in the U.S. alone will affect 127 million people from all walks of life at a cost of well over $800 billion," he told Forbes.

As the No. 1 ranked hospital for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report, HHS is now looking at new ways to transform healthcare through a local, global and digital scope. However, expanding its efforts comes with rising healthcare costs.

"Musculoskeletal health is certainly one of the largest and fastest growing drivers of healthcare costs," Mr. Shapiro told Forbes. "For example, those conditions account for more than 16 percent of total employer healthcare costs. That said, at HSS we understand that 'value' as more that just financial. Value means the best possible outcomes with the lowest possible impact on the bottom line, including time and performance that is unnecessarily lost."

One strategy HSS has made to reduce costs and improve value is through its partnerships. Most recently, HSS partnered with the Aspen (Colo.) Institute.

Although HSS has solidified its reputation as a leader in orthopedics, Mr. Shapiro was asked what the hospital would look like if it had a fresh start.

"Our unique model allows us to design personalized care plans, develop efficient care pathways to avoid unnecessary care and costs and ultimately improve the quality of life long after patients have recovered," the CEO told Forbes. "In an ideal world, that’s what it looks like for every patient no matter their provider, treatment or condition. In addressing the increasing burden of musculoskeletal injury and disease, we need to leverage the most advanced knowledge, talent and expertise to generate standardized, repeatable procedures."

More articles on practice management:
Rothman Institute opens new facility
Omni Orthopaedics to break ground on $10M+ surgery center
Water main break causes orthopedic practice to temporarily close — 3 insights

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