Richard Kube, MD, CEO of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute and Prairie SurgiCare in Peoria, Ill., tackles some of the big issues facing spine surgeons in private practice today and how surgeons can be successful in the 21st century.
Q: What are the biggest opportunities for spine surgeons to build and grow their practices today?
Dr. Richard Kube: Creating an integrated care model remains a positive growth opportunity for spine practices. As accountable care organizations form, spine is specialized enough to be able to create an all-spine services ACO type of environment in a private practice setting. This is especially true if you have a surgical facility and utilize minimally invasive techniques to increase the number of potential cases for the facility. Care in this type of setting can be more comprehensive and efficient, thereby increasing patient satisfaction and controlling cost. This provides the practice the ability for a great variety of contracting options and access to patients not available to practices without such a model.
Q: As the healthcare environment is changing around the country, what are the most beneficial relationships for spine surgeons to make? How can these relationships lead to practice success?
RK: Surgeons should build relationships with their customer base. In an era when many of the traditional referral sources are employed by, and hence controlled by hospitals, insurance carriers, etc., one must form relationships outside those traditional models to assure practice growth. These relationships start when the patient enters the office and begins his or her experience with you, the physician. Tools such as internet, email, websites, and so forth can also interact with your patients.
It also is a good idea to be involved in the community as a whole. You will have a more successful practice in a more successful community. Many if not most small businesses owners make an effort to support local community businesses and events. These activities should not be overlooked for their value in creating a positive perception with your customer base to further strengthen your practice growth.
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