Los Gatos, CA - September 14, 2010 - Orthopaedic Management Associates, LLC, (OMA) and El Camino Hospital Los Gatos have signed a co-management services agreement focused on improving quality of care and operational efficiency in the delivery of orthopaedic services.
"Many hospital leaders have reached a consensus that efforts to improve quality must have buy-in from physicians and may in many instances require their leadership," said Pat Wolfram, Site Hospital Administrator for El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. "The decisions physicians make drive a significant percentage of both cost and quality of outcomes. As we respond to health care reform, it is becoming critical to achieve a deeper level of integration with the physicians that practice at our facilities. This co-management agreement aligns the interests of everyone involved—physicians, employees, the hospital, and most important of all, the patient--as equal partners striving to achieve higher quality and safety in a more satisfying work environment."
"Quality of care is foremost," said Dr. Nicholas Colyvas, Executive Director of OMA. "By allowing the surgeons to directly manage the Orthopaedic service line at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos we will establish it as an Orthopaedic center of excellence. El Camino Los Gatos is already renowned as a premier provider of spine and joint expertise and care in our region. This agreement will develop the hospital's orthopaedic services to further enhance the experience for both patient and surgeon."
The co-management agreement covers all inpatient and outpatient orthopedic services at the hospital, including pre-admission testing and registration, radiology, pre- and post-operative and anesthesia care, operating rooms and, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
Under the agreement, the hospital provides clinical infrastructure and support while OMA physicians co-manage the clinical environment. It also requires that OMA physicians be board-certified members in good standing of the medical staff at the hospital. Currently, a total of 16 orthopaedic specialists are included.
Hospital and OMA representatives are to be equally represented on the co-management group board, which determines the scope of services to be offered and appoints the medical director, executive operations director and subcommittee chairs. A primary responsibility of the new team will be to implement quality improvement initiatives.
Demand for orthopaedic specialty care is forecasted to far outpace population growth over the decade from 2007 to 2017. Primary joint replacements, for example, are expected to grow by 51 percent and revision joint replacements (replacing worn-out replacements) by 81 percent. Spine cases also are expected to rise significantly as the population ages.
"As we face the challenge of burgeoning demand in an era of cost restraints, it is critical to insure that the best ideas from everyone are brought to the table," said Wolfram. "Because physicians have a vested interest in the management partnership, this model provides the incentives, the flexibility, and the resources needed to implement important changes without creating a bureaucracy. We believe it is an important model for the future of health care."