Innovative surgeons have been performing short-stay hip and knee procedures for many years. That being said, outpatient joint replacement surgery volumes are still small–with the lack of reimbursement coverage as only one reason. Questions about surgical technique, assistive technologies, recovery protocols, and patient selection also remain.
What is a surgeon to do?
Should you wait until your patients and payers demand it or be at the forefront of outpatient joint replacements? Over the short-term it may or may not make sense, but for the long-term you should ACT NOW. Businesses offer a portfolio of products to meet the needs of their customers. Some are leaders, some laggards, but they all are important. Outpatient joints enable you to economically treat 10-20% of your patients now, and give you extra capacity or time–whichever you value more.
As the volume and statistics mount for outpatient joint patients, Medicare will eventually come around. When that happens, private payers will follow suite and the market will increase dramatically. All orthopedic practices will be scrambling to launch an outpatient total joint practice.
In business, there is a first mover rule. The first person/business that offers a specific product or service in a market has a distinctive advantage over time. They are able to build their brand, credibility and customer base with no competition. The second entrant to have 2-3 times the resources to gain equal footing or risk falling back.
Learn from an expert
Accelero is offering a free webinar on Thursday, February 12 at 7:30PM EST to discuss the best practices for total joint replacements. Register here to listen to reknown orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Hartzband discuss his best practices for outpatient joint replacements. Dr. Hartzband has performed over 3100 outpatient joint replacements–nearly 600 is an ambulatory setting.
Get a jump on your competition. You can start the process of creating your outpatient joint replacement program by taking the following steps:
- Understanding the market and patient population
- Creating the infrastructure necessary for safe and efficient outpatient surgeries
- Selecting the appropriate patient population and ensuring they are prepared
- Effective postoperative care processes to support healing and reduce readmissions.
Click here to download our paper on outpatient joint replacement best practices.