4 orthopedic surgeons' goals for 2022

Carly Behm -  

Just over halfway through 2022, orthopedic surgeons are thinking ahead about what they want to achieve by the end of the year.

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: How can bundled payments become more widely adopted in orthopedic surgery?

Please send responses to Carly Behm at cbehm@beckershealthcare.com by 5 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 3.

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

Question: What's your top goal for the remainder of 2022?

Philip Louie, MD. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (Seattle): We live in a cost-constrained healthcare landscape right now that is further squeezed by an ongoing pandemic, short-staffing crisis, and overall burnout from various ongoing life stressors. Yet we find ourselves with high targets that need to be met, a growing number of patients who have delayed their care [highlighting the significant disparities in spine care that already exist], medical trainees training in hybrid systems and fewer people available to accomplish all of these goals.

With half of the year in the rearview mirror, my goals for the remainder of the calendar year are threefold. From a personnel standpoint, I place a direct focus on encouraging and empowering each individual member of my team each week that has an imprint on caring for my patients in various venues. Academically, our group has placed a large focus on mentoring medical students through the summer and providing them with an unparalleled research and clinical experience. Thus, I would like each of these students to complete a first author peer-reviewed manuscript. Clinically, I want to grow access to ambulatory surgery centers for my patients and grow the impact of enabling technologies in providing value-based care that is innovative, safe and effective.

David Kalainov, MD. Northwestern Medicine (Chicago): My top goal is to maintain a healthy balance between family and work while continuing to pursue interests in quality and safety and the business of healthcare.

Jason Snibbe, MD. Snibbe Orthopedics (Los Angeles): My goal for the end of the year is to improve the patient experience around joint replacement and lower my overhead. The cost of running a practice continues to rise. The insurance companies continue to make billions of dollars a year, and the reimbursement of surgeons continues to drop. It is not a sustainable process. It is driving physicians to join hospitals and health systems. Unfortunately, these jobs remove the surgeon from decision-making and independence.

The government and insurance companies have created a race to the bottom. This doesn’t improve the experience of the patient and does not create job satisfaction for the surgeon. The only solution is a fee-for-service model that removes the insurance company from the reimbursement of the surgeon. The facility fee and anesthesia can be covered. But the surgeon's fee will be separate and determined by the market. It’s the only way.

James Abbott, MD. Best Surgery and Therapies (Cincinnati): My goal is to launch a robotic/computer-aided, ASC-based total hip and total knee program in Cincinnati.

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