Mid last year we discussed in several newsletters the trend toward hospital-owned private practices, as well as the growing number of cross-specialty partnerships and private equity acquisitions. While the pace of practice consolidation may wane, its expected that these trends continue in some respect throughout the new year as they facilitate the development of efficient and effective patient care protocols based on data and best practices. With the use of data to determine the most successful methods of care, practices are able to improve the quality of healthcare and also lower overall costs by eliminating unnecessary treatments. Additionally, collaboration among medical providers will drive innovation and the development of better products and more streamlined procedures.
The continuing decline in reimbursements and need to cut costs to increase profit margins only further support the aforementioned changes to the industry.
To remain successful in this time, medical device manufacturers will need to focus their efforts on R&D to develop innovative implants and instrumentation, as well as cost-efficient manufacturing. It is also prudent for these companies to seek out partnerships with hospital systems and physician groups to create a steady stream of demand for their products.
Similarly, surgeons and healthcare leaders are wise to further improve quality of care and patient outcomes, as well as develop solid referral networks and effective marketing campaigns. Moving forward, patient procurement and engagement as well as patient access to care will be key to a successful medical practice. This trend toward patient engagement can already be seen with the implementation of patient portals, health educational programs, health screenings, and more.
Given the relevance of these trends to the surgical spine industry, we’ve planned the content for our 2019 newsletters to focus on value-based care and how practices, physicians and medical companies are evolving to meet the needs and demands of the industry and also patients. We will also touch on other exciting topics that are trending, including technology, minimally invasive systems and outpatient care, to name a few. We’re excited to kick off 2019 and look forward to keeping in touch with you.