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Reimbursement cuts to orthopaedics and rising expenses

Discussion in 'Orthopaedic Surgery' started by naus, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. naus

    naus Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Sobering article from the AAOS on Medicare reimbursement cuts to orthopaedics. Rumors are there will be more Medicare cuts to ortho in 2013, with private insurers to follow.


    And from Orthopedics Today:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  3. nychila

    nychila 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Declining reimbursements seem to be the trend for most specialties in medicine and surgery, but I'm wondering if it is hitting ortho especially hard? Will ortho still be one of the top paid specialties in 20 years?
  4. Daodejing

    Daodejing Upper or Lower 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2013
    Ligament of Treitz
    I don't think any mortal can tell you. Survey says go into a specialty you will enjoy waking up to every day for work, not by how many 0's trail your bank balance.
  5. IntelInside

    IntelInside 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Does anyone have the mgma 2012 synopsis of orthopedic by specialty and region?
  6. naus

    naus Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    MGMA numbers tend to be inflated for various reasons. Medscape numbers are a lot closer to the reality of orthopedic surgeons I know who have shared their salaries. And these guys work hard and see 60-80 patients a day in clinic.

    My sister is a pediatrician who shopped a lot for job offers across the country, and found almost no jobs remotely close to the MGMA numbers. Don't trust the one year guarantees either. They're recruiting techniques that often don't reflect actual revenues.

    Orthopods make good money, but don't expect half million salaries without significant consulting connections and a huge referral base that takes decade to build.
  7. Spikebd

    Spikebd 7+ Year Member

    May 2, 2010
    My dad is an ortho surgeon, even though n=1, I agree with this. He works hard and his income is A LOT closer to the medscape report. I would have to infer that the medscape report is accurate for the other specialties on there as well.
  8. bedrock

    bedrock Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I know plenty of orthopods making 500K without consulting contracts. They just work hard and do good work. Do they make this year one, no. Does it take decades no, usually 2-4 years if you are a hard worker.
  9. neusu

    neusu Staff Member Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Hate to ask, since I'm a non-orthopod, does it have anything to do with technology or technique? If it takes half as long to do a total hip or total knee, medicare may just be adjusting accordingly.
  10. Silent Cool

    Silent Cool Member Banned 10+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Yeah, the same thing happened to ophtho with cataract surgery back in the 80's I believe. Newer technology cut the time of the procedure down by about 1/3.
  11. Silent Cool

    Silent Cool Member Banned 10+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005

    Have you seen the newest medscape compensation survey? It shows Ortho at over 400K. That's up about 30% from last year. What gives? If the reimbursements are going down, how the heck did avg. medscape compensation rocket up to 400K+ in a year? The whole thing doesn't make sense.
  12. KinasePro

    KinasePro Das it mane 7+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    Snap city
    The survey is just really crappy.

    According to the AAOS there are 27,773 orthopaedists in the US, yet only 218 responded to this survey. Thats 0.78% of orthopedists, and on top of that a whopping response bias built into the study. Bad data by anyone's standards.

    All that being said, the survey also reports that 71% or orthopaedists who responded saw their income stay the same or decrease since 2011. So we can conclude that a minority of respondents (e.g. total joints) were able to earn more this year, while the vast majority (71%) saw stagnant or decreasing reimbursement.
  13. Spikebd

    Spikebd 7+ Year Member

    May 2, 2010
    It makes sense if you see that the procedures have been adjusted for inflation. The time value of money kicks in and ortho surgeons are being paid A LOT less per procedure than they used to make in 1992. Even taking this into account, surgeons salaries can still increase a little each year. However, it doesn't appear that their reimbursement comes close to beating inflation.
  14. Silent Cool

    Silent Cool Member Banned 10+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005

    Thanks for the response. That pretty much clears it up. I hate these studies because I never really know how accurate they are.

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