52% seeking specialists
A survey of 588 members of BONES, a national organization of orthopaedic practice administrators, found that 41 percent indicated their groups/practices were recruiting an additional orthopaedic surgeon and 52 percent were seeking a specialist.
Larger groups were more likely to be recruiting; the highest recruiting activity was in the South Atlantic region. The survey, conducted in mid-1997, found small groups were more likely to be seeking general orthopaedic surgeons.
Most respondents, 78.4 percent, did not indicate any ownership or contractual changes in their group in the last two years. Of the practices indicating a change, 64.8 percent involved a merger with another orthopaedic group and 19.2 percent had contracted with a management services organization.
Analysis of 575 responses to a question about reimbursement patterns found that three sources account for 62.5 percent of patients. The sources were Medicare, 22.1 percent; managed care, discounted fee-for-service, 23.7 percent; and workers’ compensation, 16.7 percent. Overall, the percentage of patients from managed care sources was highest in the Mountain region (33 percent), and the Pacific and West South Central regions (both 29.1 percent). The East South Central region had the lowest percentage of patients from managed care (17.4 percent).
More than 94 percent of the groups said they currently contract with or are part of a managed care organization. The groups had an average of 12.8 arrangements; 5.6 of the arrangements began in the last two years.