Dr. Gaetano Scuderi: The biggest challenges for orthopedists and their patients

Written by Laura Dyrda | December 27, 2018 | Print  |

Gaetano Scuderi, MD, a spine surgeon at Jupiter (Fla.) Medical Center, discusses the big trends and opportunities for orthopedic surgery growth in 2019.

Question: What are the top two to three challenges orthopedic surgeons face heading into 2019?

Dr. Gaetano Scuderi: I believe a mutiny is building that is going to embroil all healthcare providers, including orthopedic surgeons. Patients are getting frustrated if not outright angry. Over the past several years insurance companies have been extracting increasing monthly payments out of consumers. In the face of increasing out-of-pocket expenses, it is only a matter of time before patients/consumers finally revolt. We are getting less and less for our healthcare expenditures as insurers continue to secure increases in compensation for their high-level executives and increasing stock prices for their shareholders.

More and more I observe patients' frustration following the rejection of needed diagnostics or therapeutics as ordered by their provider. They are more willing to pay for their imaging studies or injection procedures out of pocket. When will our political representatives actually do something about that for their constituents?

Q: What technology are you most excited about in the future?

GS: Utilization of biologics instead of archaic hardware systems to debride, drill or extract cartilage. Specifically, biologic treatments such as alpha-2 macroglobulin, which plays a major role in protease inhibition and cartilage regeneration, have taken a foothold in patient care, as patients are learning more and more about this technology and opting for biologics instead of surgical treatment, by searching out providers who use this technology.

Q: What is your best opportunity for growth?

GS: As a solo practitioner who does not take any insurance, but has become one of these providers [that uses advanced technology], opportunities for growth are astronomical. By positive and longer interactions with my patients and utilization of social media's multiple platforms, I can reach out to patients throughout the U.S., and I can provide a medical tourism option right here in the U.S.!

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com

For a deeper dive into the future of orthopedics, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-5, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on orthopedic surgery:
Dr. David Fisher: 3 challenges for next year and best advice for orthopedic surgeons to build a successful practice
2 big challenges in shoulder surgery + the best opportunity for growth in 2019 from Dr. Grant Garrigues
Dr. James Nicholson: The key to orthopedic practice growth

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