Today's News

Sunday, February 07, 1999

Private pay patients decline 45% since 1998

Orthopaedic surgeons report that private pay patients account for only 21 percent of their practice, according to the Academy's biennial survey of orthopaedic surgeons.

The data, presented in "Orthopaedic Practice in the U.S. 1998/1999," disclosed that the percent of private pay has declined 45 percent since 1998. Meanwhile, patients from managed care sources have increased 45 percent to 27.1 percent of patients from 11.6 percent in 1988.

Eighty-seven percent of orthopaedic surgeons responding to the survey said they have patients from managed care sources. Seventy-eight percent have managed care, discounted fee-for-service patients, while 34 percent have managed care capitation patients. Twenty-six percent have patients from both sources.

Among those who provide care in a managed care setting, 51 percent said managed care organization policies were "appropriate" regarding type of diagnostic procedures and treatment options; 52 percent said policies concerning follow-up orthopaedic care was appropriate.

Only 38 percent, however, found policies on referral from primary care physicians as "appropriate;" 53 percent found the policies "too restrictive."

Concerning the managed care plan through which they received the most patient visits:

1999 Academy News Feb. 7 Index A
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Last modified 07/February/1999