Devalue The Doctor: The Response Of A Manipulated System To Orthopaedic Surgeons

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

We have lost sight of this truth along our journey towards value-based healthcare. The well-intentioned value equation represents a concerted systemwide effort to decrease healthcare expenditures while maximizing the quality of care rendered, but it opened the door for administrative misalignment with the art of medicine.

Despite recognizing that “the business of healthcare depends on exploiting doctors and nurses,” we continue to choose lean principles and line items over patients and frontline workers even in the midst of a pandemic.

In the eyes of the public, physician ownership of the cost conundrum was conflated with a false narrative rooted in physician atonement for their wealth and greed. The hundreds of anecdotal stories related to exorbitant costs from surprise billing, from questionable MRI scans to the out-of-network anesthesiologist, exacerbated the optics of the medical team and primarily positioned the doctor to be the scapegoat.

The entire healthcare team – doctors, nurses, social workers, technicians, therapists, advanced practice providers – absorbed the reprisal and unsurprisingly assumed ownership of the problem. After all, ownership remains a core tenet of patient care. However, the burden of fixing healthcare – a notoriously complex and purposefully opaque system – requires shared responsibility across all players.

It is painfully clear that the pendulum has swung too far. No case better crystallizes this than the treatment of orthopaedic surgeons during the last decade – specifically those who perform hip and knee replacement.

Hip and knee replacement surgery represents one of the highest volume procedures paid for by Medicare, therefore one of the greatest expenses for the hospital and insurance administrator. This set the stage for joint replacement surgeons and their representative society – the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) – to lead the way in policy and payment reform.

By Prem Ramkumar, MD | Forbes

Image Credit: Getty Images


About Peter Coffaro 506 Articles
Peter Coffaro is a growth-driven and strategic executive with over 25 years of progressive management success in the medical device industry. With a proven track record and recognized expertise, Peter has established himself as one of the top influencers in medical sales, as acknowledged by prestigious publications such as the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and Throughout his career, Peter has accumulated 10 years of combined sales management experience, excelling in various roles including Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. He has worked for industry-leading orthopedic companies such as Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker, solidifying his deep knowledge and network within the field. Peter’s passion for innovation and emerging technologies led him to found OrthoFeed, an award-winning blog covering digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Through this platform, he stays at the forefront of the industry and contributes to the dissemination of valuable insights. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson, demonstrating his exceptional contributions and impact on the organization. His expertise extends to areas such as organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter earned a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, further complementing his comprehensive understanding of the medical field. With his wealth of experience, strategic mindset, and dedication to advancing healthcare, Peter Coffaro is a valuable asset and leader in the medical device industry.

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