Who are the major players or forces driving health care decisions? How do you decide what is the best business plan for your practice? What is the health care climate in your market? How can your practice improve its chances for future success in today's competitive market?
These questions and more will be answered at a three-day conference-"Reshaping Your Practice: Groups, Mergers, Networks and Affiliations"-June 5-8 in Chicago.
"Offering a conference is a new concept to the Academy's educational offerings," said course chairman Theodore J. Vigeland, MD. "We felt the conference-type setting would be exciting as well as the best way to present the material."
More than 40 faculty members have been recruited to be part of a wide variety of presentations, question and answer sessions and panel discussions. Twenty of the faculty members will be orthopaedic surgeons.
Additional faculty are representatives from insurance companies and health plans-Liberty Mutual Health Insurance Company and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation; employer coalitions-Minnesota Business Health Care Action Coalition; physician practice management companies-PhyCor Management Company and MedPartners, Inc.; and health care accounting and legal firms-Davis Wright Tremaine and Gardner, Carton & Douglas.
"We are very lucky to have this faculty at the conference," Dr. Vigeland said. "We have the leading experts in managed care issues right now to add several different perspectives."
On the first day, a special orientation session will be offered to help attendees "get up to speed." "It's similar to a refresher course where the key phrases and concepts associated with managed care will be defined," Dr. Vigeland said. "For those who mix-up IPAs, PHOs, MSOs and PPMCs, it will be especially helpful."
The next day opens by identifying current players or major forces in health care, what they want from specialists; and how they influence change. A session on creating successful partnerships and the viability of physician hospital organizations will help attendees better understand the future of hospitals. Concurrent sessions on survival strategies for academic practice, issues and options in salaried practice and payment trends in advanced markets also will be included in the day's program.
The Saturday session begins with a panel discussion on practice integration opportunities. Faculty member Peter Grant, JD, PhD, will follow with a presentation on management service organizations and their link to Wall Street. The day also includes a presentation on new opportunities-national networks, specialty carve outs, global contracting and direct contracting-and how they affect practices.
Three town meetings-a new concept to the Academy's educational curriculum-will follow. Facilitators will direct questions and issues to a panel of orthopaedists and practice administrators from "advanced" managed care markets-Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; Boston; Florida; and California.
"It's important for orthopaedists around the country to hear first-hand how managed care has evolved in these intense areas, and how orthopaedists are responding," Dr. Vigeland said. "We can all learn and help each other."
The final day tackles the subject of orthopaedic practice buyouts and details the short- and long-term dangers and opportunities. The conference closes with a session on internal and external legal issues in practice mergers.
Practice managers and administrators who work with orthopaedic surgeons are encouraged to attend the conference. "We have scheduled many sessions for this audience," Dr. Vigeland said. "Issues of importance such as the administrative aspects of a successful orthopaedic practice, structuring arrangements with management service organizations and management issues in mergers have been included in the conference schedule."
Along with Dr. Vigeland, Joseph S. Barr Jr., MD, is co-chairman of the conference. A Steering Committee also was instrumental in creating the program. Members include Paul J. Hirsch, MD; Alan H. Morris, MD; James N. Glenn, MD; William C. McMaster, MD; Vernon T. Tolo, MD; and Karl F. Stein, representative from the BONES Society.
For registration information, contact the Academy's customer service department at (800) 626-6726 or access the home page at http://www.aaos.org in the "Medical Education" section.