'Patients don't like it, physicians don't like it': What 1 orthopedic surgeon would change about the industry


The orthopedic industry is not without its flaws.

Jennifer Wood, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoVirginia in Reston, connected with Becker's to discuss what she would change about the orthopedic industry.

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: If you weren't an orthopedic surgeon, what would you do?

Please send responses to Riz Hatton at rhatton@beckershealthcare.com by 5 p.m. CDT Thursday, September 21.

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

Dr. Jennifer Wood: I would remove prior authorization from insurance companies as a requirement for surgical treatment. Patients don't like it, physicians don't like it. It takes time physicians could be spending on patient care and ties us up in paperwork. Research shows it contributes to longer wait times, elevated risks, and negative health outcomes for patients. Physicians should be able to recommend and carry through with the most effective care for their patients without being bogged down by administrative checklists. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is supporting the proposed CMS interoperability and prior authorization rule, and I stand with them in their efforts to reduce the burdens created by prior authorization and improve patient care.

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