Dr. Kornelis Poelstra on the upsides, downsides of PE in spine

Carly Behm -  

Private equity has the potential to help keep spine practices independent, but it doesn't come without risk, according to Kornelis Poelstra, MD, PhD, of the Robotic Spine Institute of Silicon Valley in Los Gatos, Calif.

He told Becker's Spine Review how he sees private equity playing a role in the industry in the near future.

Note: Response was edited for style and clarity.

Question: How do you think private equity investment will affect spine practices in the next 2-3 years?

Dr. Kornelis Poelstra: I think private equity contribution to allow private practices to stay independent is something that is not to be discouraged. It is certainly something that will become more important as we move toward a need for greater efficiency, and a more businesslike approach to sustain our practices in the ever-changing and more challenging healthcare environment of tomorrow.

The upside will be the introduction of much greater business acumen and efficiencies that could allow us to stay away from hospital employment and possibly boost the bottom line for all.

The downside would be that decisions could be forced upon us by non-clinicians solely for monetary gain, which is in stark contrast with the way we have usually practiced and approached the people we care for.

The philosophy in most practices is still very much: "The patient comes first, monetary reimbursement is second," and I am hopeful that that will not get turned upside down with the ever-increasing role private equity will play also in our world.

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