OrthoGeorgia Draws Patients From Across the Southeast

Barbara Kieker

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Hand surgeries are up 6 percent nationwide according to a review of 2013 procedures conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  The aging of Baby Boomers, less invasive techniques and greater awareness are driving the growth.  That trend is amplified at OrthoGeorgia, which has five fellowship-trained hand surgeons – the only ones in the region.  

"Georgia is underserved in hand surgeons.  We're the only fellowship-trained hand surgeons on the I-75 corridor so we receive referrals from all over the state and Alabama and Florida," said Waldo Floyd III, MD, a fellowship-trained hand surgeon, member of the Executive Committee and secretary at OrthoGeorgia.  

"We offer a full spectrum of orthopedic specialties in our practice and all are booming in fact." 

Floyd's father, Waldo Floyd, Jr., MD, founded OrthoGeorgia in 1961 in Macon. Considered one of the region’s pioneers in the development of modern orthopedic surgery, he was among the first surgeons in Georgia to perform total joint replacement. Today, OrthoGeorgia has four centers of excellence – hand and upper extremity, foot and ankle, spine and sports medicine – that are supported by 26 board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians, as well as physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists, athletic trainers and other medical specialists.  The practice has locations in Macon, Warner Robins, Griffin and Milledgeville.   

At its Northside Drive location in Macon, OrthoGeorgia offers a physical therapy and sports medicine department, a sports-specific training center and wellness center, an orthopedic urgent care center, a surgery center and a pharmacy – all housed in a 70,000 square foot facility. In July, Forsyth Street Orthopaedics merged with OrthoGeorgia, adding a second Macon location to the practice, which includes both a surgery center and rehabilitation center. 

World-class care in a patient-friendly environment

Making health care accessible and convenient can help relieve some of the stress associated with physical exams and surgical procedures.  Additionally, cost of care can be lower in non-hospital settings in some cases.

"We provide full orthopedic care to our patients and we do everything under one roof in a nice, suburban setting," Floyd said. 

"We have a great staff and a very patient-friendly practice." 

The OrthoGeorgia Northside Surgery Center opened in 1999.  Approximately 4,000 surgeries are performed there each year.   The practice performs some of the very latest diagnostic and surgical techniques including minimally invasive spine surgeries and joint reconstructions. 

Building a critical mass

According to Floyd, the full effects of the Affordable Care Act are still unknown but it appears to be bringing in more patients with insurance policies.  However that has not greatly impacted OrthoGeorgia as Floyd said, "we never had a shortage of patients." 

"We don't really know right now what the effects [of the new regulations] will be.  I'm not going to say how great it is or be hypercritical," Floyd said. 

"I do think with the regulations and the economics of health care, it is now very hard to be a solo practitioner.  You need a critical mass of health care providers to work effectively with hospitals, insurers or other payers." 

As insurers look for ways to cut costs they often reduce the number of physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in their networks.  As a result, larger orthopedic groups that offer a full spectrum of first-class orthopedic services are more attractive to insurers, according to Floyd.

More information on OrthoGeorgia is available at www.orthoga.org.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.