Taking on risk-based contracts, expanding ancillary services and capitalizing on higher-acuity procedures such as spine surgery and joint replacement are among the biggest opportunities for growth in orthopedics.
The leaders of four orthopedic groups expand on their practice's growth strategies for 2022.
Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.
Question: Where are the biggest opportunities for growth in 2022?
J. Bryan Williamson, MD. Medical director of OrthoLoneStar (Houston): The biggest opportunity for growth in orthopedics is to guide the patient journey through all primary musculoskeletal-indicated issues, enabling the complete cycle of care with control of the cost and quality of delivery. In a value-based care environment, the orthopedist will be able to provide better outcomes with lower overall cost while being in the position to benefit from that work. This requires the practice to be able to vertically integrate access to the full range of treatment options with a complete overview of what will work best for each individual being treated. If done well, it's the rare opportunity for patients, physicians and employers all to benefit while providing higher-quality and lower-cost healthcare.
Nicholas Grosso, MD. President of the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics (Bethesda, Md.): The biggest opportunity for growth lies in the shift to the outpatient setting. Here in Maryland, there are a significant number of one-room outpatient centers. We can increase efficiencies while remaining accessible for patients and providers alike by consolidating some of these existing surgery centers into multiroom facilities.
Ed Hellman, MD. President and interim CEO of OrthoIndy (Indianapolis): Because we have a physician-owned surgical hospital, we're sort of a hybrid: We're seeing some of the advantages and some of the stresses that practices see, and some of the advantages and stresses that hospitals see. Clearly we need to develop and expand our outpatient strategy because just like the community hospital down the road, procedures are going to move out of the hospital to an ASC. We need to have those ASCs positioned in the community where we can serve patients close to home, efficiently and with a positive margin as we move out of the hospital. That's likely our biggest potential for growth. We're looking at a hub-and-spoke model. I think having clinics that are closer to home that can provide services where patients live and work and bringing only the higher-acuity procedures to our main hospital location makes the most sense.
Kim Mikes, BSN, RN. CEO of Hoag Orthopedic Institute (Irvine, Calif.): As one of the largest providers of orthopedic care in the Western region of the U.S., Hoag Orthopedic Institute has the opportunity to enhance our efforts to highlight what differentiates us in our markets. We are an orthopedic and spine specialty hospital and ASC network. Our team of physicians and staff members are experts at orthopedic and spine care. With that expertise comes all the benefits of quality outcomes, high volume, standardized value-based care and low infection rates. We need to ensure that the Southern California community knows that Hoag Orthopedic Institute is where you come for orthopedic and spine care. We are also increasing our ability to take care of higher-acuity orthopedic and spine patients. Our biggest growth opportunity will be in the higher-acuity spine market.