In our orthopedic surgeon Tampa office, we spend a lot of money each year on medical supplies, products and services. On a recent trip to Australia, we learned of an interesting way the medical community down there uses rewards programs to cut costs. We feel it is our responsibility to spend this money in such a way that helps to keep medical costs for our patients as low as possible. That’s why we are now part of a growing trend in which physicians, surgeons, hospitals and health care practitioners are joining medical rewards programs.
Through a medical rewards system, we enjoy a number of privileges, including:
Priority Access to Medical Materials: Priority access can be important when new products and materials are introduced into the medical marketplace. New medical items often experience de facto rationing due to demand/supply imbalances. By getting a high priority, we are more likely to receive all the new medical products we desire. This is of great value to our patients, since they are the beneficiaries of these materials and products. Often, new materials are more cost-effective than the ones they replace, which lowers medical costs for everyone. For instance, new injectable materials used in certain orthopedic procedures have superior performance and lead to a higher percentage of positive outcomes. If a surgeon can avoid repeating a surgical procedure, such as an ACL restoration, due to better material, then the patient and insurer saves substantially. Lower Prices: Our practice saves thousands of dollars every year by the discounted prices we receive via our membership in a medical rewards program.
Here is a sample of the kinds of items that receive discounts:
* Medical products and supplies
* Medical equipment and repair
* Medical office setup and maintenance
* Ordering costs
* Practice-management software
* Supply management solutions
* Laboratory supplies and equipment
* Medical financial services
* Malpractice insurance
Unlike some of our competitors, we pass these savings onto our patients, doing our bit to help keep medical costs manageable.
Frequent-Buyer Points: The third attractive feature of medical practice reward programs is that accumulated points can be redeemed for valuable items, such as:
* Gift certificates
* Extra discounts on medical equipment
* Lower costs for travel to medical conferences
* Electronics and other items that can be used in our offices
* Subscriptions to medical journals (printed and online) and to general interest magazines we use in our waiting room.
* Special information about interesting new biotechnology stocks
* Payment-in-kind programs with malpractice attorneys
* Free preparation of plaques and certificates that line our office walls
In our opinion, it would be irresponsible for any medical practitioner to pass up the savings afforded by medical reward programs. We are very pleased that our trip to Australia gave us insight into this important phenomenon.