Orthopedics' 'double-edged sword'


Consolidation can potentially be both beneficial and harmful to orthopedic practices. 

Matthew Harb, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics in Bethesda, Md., connected with Becker's to answer, "Is consolidation a threat to orthopedic practices?"

Ask Orthopedic Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting orthopedic care. We invite all orthopedic surgeon and specialist responses.

Next question: What role should private equity play in orthopedics? 

Please send responses to Riz Hatton at rhatton@beckershealthcare.com by 5 p.m. CST Thursday, Feb. 29.

Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Dr. Matthew Harb: Consolidation is a double-edged sword as it can have both positive and negative effects. There are multiple things to consider with consolidation, including the cost of healthcare, the physicians themselves and patient care.

Most consolidations happen from healthcare groups or when private equity takes over a private practice. Many of these purchases aim to reduce costs, but this can come at an expense. Reducing costs and increasing revenue can happen by decreasing staff or increasing the number of patients seen per provider. Consequently, this can result in more stress on physicians, longer wait times and less individualized patient care.

Consolation can also have benefits, including improved payer rates, decreased cost of equipment and supplies, higher-quality staff benefits, and easier accessibility to specialists outside of orthopedics. It ultimately depends on who is purchasing the group, their goals and if their views align with the physicians and staff working for them. As physician reimbursement falls and overhead costs skyrocket, consolidation may likely be the only option for orthopedic practices in the future.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers