The role of orthopedic surgeons in population health

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

At an AOA Critical Issues Symposium, three orthopedic surgeons and specialists discussed the role of orthopedics in population health management. A brief description of the discussion was published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Population health initiatives are designed to provide value-based care and preventative care to a large community. Many initiatives tackle chronic health issues including obesity, diabetes, chronic pain and homelessness. Programs help people live healthier lives and avoid chronic conditions, ultimately lowering healthcare costs.


To accomplish value-based care through population health, the speakers outlined three concepts:


• Physician groups and hospitals need legal basis to work together to provide care for large geographic areas
• Integrated delivery systems are necessary to cover all types of cases and post-acute care
• Subspecialists can make an impact on the health of populations through the appropriate mechanisms


Orthopedic surgeons often see patients after an illness or injury already damaged their bones and joints. However, the panel members argued orthopedic surgeons can still play a role in population health management with shared decision-making for elective procedures and improving bone health. They can also limit premature or unnecessary imaging and referrals to subspecialists.


Finally, orthopedic surgeons can be a valuable voice at the table when healthcare providers are developing population-based payment methodologies.


More articles on orthopedic surgery:
Are dual mobility implants cost-effective for primary tool hip arthroplasty? 6 insights
Rutland Regional Medical Center honors Dr. Deborah Henley for humanitarian work
BMC welcomes Dr. Mahlon Bradley—5 details

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