Orthopedic Surgeons: Here’s what to expect in 2019

Orthopedic surgeons are currently facing a changing environment. New patients increase by 200 million a year, while previous methods for treatment have become obsolete or subject of controversy. As we head in to the end of 2018, it’s hard to know which new trends will cause a large impact. Perhaps an even better question, how can you start preparing now?

Here are the 4 trends we expect to see impact practices in 2019 and ways you can get ahead of the curve:

Increase in joint pain solutions.

The number of Americans over age 65 doubling by 2030, this will significantly change the makeup of most orthopedic practices. 2019 will bring increased demand for joint pain solutions.

What you can do:

Start planning for new treatment protocols for chronic, non-operable pain management, including laser therapy and other technologies that offer both pain relief and an opportunity to generate new revenue.

Shift in outpatient procedures.

Increased market consolidation and regulatory demands have changed the relationship between physicians and hospital administrators and caused a shift to outpatient procedures and ambulatory centers.

What you can do:

Acquisition and new streams of revenue that can help improve patient care and serve as a differentiator are both approaches we expect to see practices take in 2019.

Alternatives to prescription pain relief.

New studies published in 2018 have shown that Orthopedics represents a substantial portion of opioid prescriptions in the United States, causing it to become of center of focus and concern, and a driving factor for alternatives to prescription pain relief in the age of the opioid crisis.

What you can do:

Check the laws in your state, and read up on new legislature in FL and others. Train your team on risk management programs. However, to keep up with industry changes and regulations in 2019, you should begin exploring new options for treatment and therapy that eliminates or significantly cuts down the prescription of pain associated medicine.

Get ahead of the curve by exploring MLS for your practice.

Margin pressure. Healthcare reform and declining reimbursements.

Healthcare reform has caused increased regulation around transparency of costs, insurance and declining reimbursements. Practices will have to react to the increased margin pressure in 2019.

What you can do:

Assess your practice for opportunities to streamline internal processes to increase ability to see patients. To expand your top-line, look to cash-based service offerings, as patients begin to shift to a consumer mindset.

These are just a few steps you can start now to help you get a jump start on 2019 trends. To learn more about these trends and how to prepare your team, download our white paper, 2019 Orthopedic Market Outlook and Implications for Orthopedic Practice Management.

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