By ROBERT NORTON AND ELVIS GRANDIC
The number of global orthopedic procedures per year is forecasted to approach 28.3 million by 2022, and Palm Beach County will be a hotspot for this activity.
Our county, the capital of Baby Boomer population growth, forecasts a 40% increase in the 65-older population by 2030. This post-pandemic influx of growth to our region ensures there will be great demand for specialists of all kinds, but — in particular — spine and orthopedic care is expected to outpace all other services.
These patients deserve a facility that specializes exclusively in spine and orthopedic surgery, not a generic, impersonal, subpar general hospital where patients are just numbers on the daily docket. And Palm Beach County deserves it, too.
This is why we have joined forces as majority owners to develop the South Florida Spine & Orthopedic Institute. We are 29 board certified, elite surgeons who have been living, operating and raising our families in Palm Beach County for decades. Combined, we have more than a century of orthopedic and spine surgery experience. Not only will we maintain office space in the institute’s medical offices and operate out of its surgical rooms, we will also use our vast knowledge as practicing surgeons to govern the institute and ensure its status as a center of health care excellence.
Our commonality is that we fiercely care about our patients, and no longer want to sit by as our neighbors receive subpar treatment.
How do we know they receive subpar treatment? Because we have first-hand experience working in Palm Beach County’s hospitals and see that there is a vacuum of quality orthopedic and spinal surgery facilities. Florida used to require a what’s known as a certificate of need to open new medical facilities — in general, new facilities could not open near existing hospitals. However, these requirements served to squeeze out smaller medical centers, allowing large hospital systems to form monopolies, stifle innovation and, in the process, keep healthcare costs high.
Thankfully, the state repealed these requirements in 2019, and now we have the opportunity to bring a surgical center to South Florida the likes of which the state has never seen before.
Many of us received specialized training in some of the nation’s top spine and orthopedic facilities. From these experiences, we realized there are significant advantages to stand-alone surgical facilities. Not only do they offer the best technology, they also employ dedicated teams solely focused on executing spine and orthopedic procedures every day. The marriage of cutting-edge equipment and surgical specialists offers patients the best results, including lower infection rates, decreased rates of complications, improved surgical outcomes and regained quality of life. Our current Delray Beach outpatient facility, Delray Beach Surgical Suites, routinely receives five-star reviews for its surgical outcomes, friendly staff and efficient operation. We know our new venture will achieve the same results.
However, there has been recent opposition to our proposal by the Alliance of Delray, an umbrella organization of homeowners associations, which has been spreading misinformation about our project. This is not surprising, considering the group’s executive vice president sits on the board of directors for Delray Medical Center, one of the Alliance’s biggest sponsors. The facility received a 1-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year and is one of the large, out of state, for-profit monopolies that has profited from delivering low-quality, overpriced health care. This is exactly what we are trying to change.
These individuals are lobbying against Palm Beach County’s best interests. The reasons the Alliance opposes this facility are based on factually incorrect information, positioning us in a light that is not true to our mission or our core beliefs as physicians.
We are a physician owned, physician-led, state-of-the-art facility with one goal: to provide our patients with world-class orthopedic care.
To the residents of Palm Beach County: You may not need orthopedic or spinal care services today, but it is very likely that you will one day — and we can assure you that you’ll want your procedure performed in a specialized facility. We hope that the community will support the development of this much-needed, state-of-the-art resource, and that readers will voice their support for this important initiative by visiting soflaspineandortho.com.
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