Ancillary Osteoarthritis Program
Obesity and the aging population are creating an increased demand in osteoarthritis treatment. A new protocol is available to physicians that will dramatically change the face of how efficiently arthritic knees are treated, providing relief to the patient and a new profit center to the physician.
Currently, over 73 million Americans suffer from diseases that limit their mobility. 23.6 million of those suffer with osteoarthritis. This translates to over 1.148 million knee replacements being performed in 2016 alone. Due to this volume of surgeries, Medicare and insurances are demanding that patients must try and fail a course of visco-supplementation before surgery is approved.
Many offices are providing unguided injections, with suboptimal supplements and not providing knee bracing. This protocol is not working as successfully as it can be and is also providing marginal reimbursement. This end to end ancillary program add on can realistically turn this business into a 6-7 figure profit for the practice.
Benefits to the practice are:
- Attract NEW patients to the practice through targeted marketing
- Marketing provided as part of the program package
- Help patients quickly, effectively and in their local area
- Provides an end to end solution for both the patient and the practice
- Generate a significant new profit center
- In house treatment for knees and shoulders
How Does It Work?
- Visco-supplementation with an approved fluid (based on insurance), typically Supartz, is injected into the affected joint with the use of a fluoroscope. Supartz is available at government pricing further adding profitability. The fluoroscope is like a moving x-ray. The benefit of using a fluoroscope is that it does not result in radiation scatter, meaning no need for lead lining of rooms or wearing of aprons. The fluoroscope provides a clear image to ensure accurate placement of the needle into the joint space. Doctors unaccustomed to doing joint injections find the procedure easy to master using this method. The fluoroscope is more efficient than using a sonograph and frees up both the physician hands to work on the patient. Physicians and Nurse Practitioners are approved for billing using a fluoroscope. Revenues for a single injection are significantly higher than using ultrasound. Additionally, synovial tears can also be accurately diagnosed with the fluoroscope.
Patients typically can expect to experience improvement after 2 or 3 injections and a course of 5-6 injections per joint are routine. Patients are eligible for a second round of treatment every 6 months.
- Physical therapy (PT) can be provided prior to injections for improved outcomes, once a solid OA business is built. The PT is also billable by the practice further adding to the success of the program for both patient and practice.
- A patented unloading knee brace is provided to patients that reduces pressure on the joint and opens the joint space. The unique design of the brace allows improved healing and pain relief due to the reduced pressure. Physicians receive wholesale pricing on the DME and credentialing, if desired, to disoense the braces in office and provide a complete program. This also adds an excellent margin to this profit center.
- The final phase using regenerative medicine is optional and uses Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or stem cells. Regenerative medicine is reserved for stubborn or unusual cases. Specially manufactured kits and a unique deal with stem cell providers ensure physicians receive these products at exceptional pricing. Physicians can choose to pass on the cost savings to patients on these traditionally expensive cash pay procedures.
Start up and Implementation
Everything for the program is provided as part of the complete treatment protocol. This includes the fluoroscope which can be coupled with a small portable x-ray device, chair, a supply of 50 Supartz injections, 10 braces, contrast dye and even bandaids!
Practices can find a ready stream of patients from their existing database through use of questionnaires that help identify suitable candidates.
Marketing is channeled via various advertising media including social, television, lunch and learns and more. This marketing provides continued success of the program by driving NEW patients to the practice meaning doctors are not relying on their existing database to perform the procedures. Marketing can be turned on and off as needed.
Full training on the procedure, in office handling of the patient and billing is conducted over 2 days of in office training. The high level of attention to detail and the training provided is what truly sets this program apart and guarantees practice success. Less than 1 new patient per month covers the cost of the program with many practices recouping their entire investment in less than 90 days.
To get started, all is needed is to complete an application and the process moves from there.
Patients can be identified with a patient survey while waiting for the equipment to arrive so a steady stream of patients is available from the start.
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