About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

6 comments on “Health Care Trends and the Orthopedic Industry

  • Howard — Global payments for episodes of care, rather than fee-for-service payments for individual encounters, are coming down the pike, whether through ACOs or through other instrumentalities. The new CMS Center for Innovation will drive some new payment demonstration projects as well, in search of the “special sauce” of financial incentives and quality measures that will help improve quality and reduce costs systemwide. (I’ve worked on getting past demonstration projects in the same vein approved by CMS, and they end up benefiting payor, provider and patient.) I agree with your assessment that business plans for innovations yielding marginal gains for high costs are ripe for re-examination. The challenge in this time of turbulent change is to take the long view, focus on process improvements that strike the elusive cost/quality balance, and are not subject to skewed incentives based on short-term financial or quality measures.

  • One force you don’t mention here, but have mentioned in the past, is that of patient choice. As we move toward a model that places greater accountability ( and financial burden) on patients, the choice of which implant to use, as an example, will no longer be only up to the physician/hospital/vendor triad. Patients will demand access to high quality at an affordable price as they have in almost any other industry. As baby boomers age, this force alone may have an enormous impact for orthopedics.

  • Howard,

    With a strong background in Ortho/manufacturing, I agree with Mark.
    What we as manufacturers did was to start to empower patients with information. An informed/educated patient is becoming more the rule rather then the exception. That being said, it would behoove physicians to be a part of the chatter. Educate, and you’ll dominate. Social Media levels that playing field.
    In regard to your statement about manufacturing and “me too” products. I completely agree. They will be left by the wayside as the existing me too products continue to strive for improved quality and quantity delivered in a cost effective manner. Manufacturers will continue to improve manufacturing efficiencies, cost containment, private label opportunities, distribution outlets, and ACO/GPO contracts. This will absolutely create a level of trust and positioning in the marketplace and ultimately increase market share.
    Basically our health care environment will definitely be a changin!

    1. All areas of health care will be streamlining cost containment.
    2. ACO’s are real and watch for that growth.
    3. Physician’s would be best served to be engaged.
    4. Physicians, ACO’s and health care institutions are increasing their reach via social media, where patient’s and all other touch points of care are seeking information.

    Much to discuss. This will provide years of Blog Topics!

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