Prepare for More Orthopedics: Demand to Increase by 2014Written by Laura Miller | July 22, 2011
There are several economic, social and political factors that impact a patient's access to care and an orthopedist's ability to provide that care, and orthopedic surgeons need to understand these factors for success in the future, according to a story published in AAOS Now.
Studies show that as the unemployment rate increases, the instances of blunt trauma decreases, and there is less demand for orthopedic trauma care, according to the report. This trend may be linked to the decrease in laborers, who have an increased risk of sustaining on-the-job traumatic injuries. People are also less likely to spend money on dangerous activities, such as drinking and ATV purchases, during a recession, so the instances of related vehicular accidents are down.
An additional effect of the economic downturn is a decrease in elective surgeries as people lose insurance coverage due to unemployment. Fewer elective cases and an increasing number of patients without insurance may mean overall lower reimbursement for orthopedic cases during economic hardship, according to the report.
However, the report's authors state that as the economy improves and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brings more people into the healthcare system, hospitals must be prepared for an increase in demand for orthopedic services.
Read the AAOS Now report on the demand for orthopedics.
Related Articles on Orthopedics:
8 Implications of Healthcare Reform on Orthopedic and Spine Practices
10 Biggest Concerns Facing Spine Surgeons From Healthcare Reform
AAOS: Pushing Forward With Healthcare Reform
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