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In Becker’s Spine latest Ask Spine Surgeon’s article, five spine surgeons were asked to discuss the biggest threats to physician-owned orthopedic practices. Within the article, Dr. Melanie Kinchen, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at 360 Back and Spine Center answered the question: “What do you see as the biggest threat to physician ownership?”
In her response Dr. Kinchen begins to discuss the marketing strategies required to compete with others within the same group or network stating,
“The biggest threats to physician ownership are the increasing and ever-changing marketing strategies necessary to compete with large groups and hospital networks.” – Dr. Melanie Kinchen
While larger groups and hospital networks have more capital to effectively market using all avenues of social media and can control the flow of patients through corporate contracts, physicians outside of those larger groups do not always have the same capability. The corporate contracts funnel patients into certain networks or hospital systems that rarely include private, physician-owned facilities.
While individuals or practices may have privileges at these hospitals, they are not considered the preferred provider — not because of quality or ability, but because of the exclusion from that relationship. Smaller or individual practices also cannot leverage with insurance companies the same way larger groups can, so their reimbursement is often significantly less.
These factors lead to less patient volume, less reimbursement, and less revenue to reinvest into technology upgrades and marketing.
Read the full Becker’s Spine article Big insurance, big hospital & big government — the biggest threats to orthopedic physician-ownership here.