The danger of declining orthopedic reimbursements 


Two orthopedic leaders joined Becker's to discuss declining orthopedic reimbursements and how it's affecting physicians. 

Editor's note: These responses were edited lightly for clarity and length. 

Lisa Knetsche. Practice Manager of The Spine Center of Central Kentucky (Danville): The biggest danger of declining reimbursements is the loss of physician independence, which means the loss of physicians. Many physicians are near retirement, and the fight to stay in business will push many to just quit practicing medicine. This will lead to less access for patients and longer waits to be treated. As a business, I am most concerned about not just the reduced reimbursements, but the continued rise of expenses and the relentless [recovery audit contractors] by Medicare looking for any small technicality to recoup funds, regardless of the medical need of the patient.

Felix Savoie, MD. Professor and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Tulane University (New Orleans, La.): The biggest danger in declining reimbursements is the fact that with inflation we will soon reach the point where we are unable to care for patients, eliminating private practice.  This will dramatically affect access to care as well as leading to increased cost and decreased quality of care for our patients. Physicians have to be able to keep up with cost of living increases.

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