As you search for the right orthopedic facility for your needs, you may not consider the difference between a public and private-practice model. Larger hospitals and other clinics may be more at the forefront because of heavy advertising and name recognition; however, a private orthopedic clinic in Kansas City offers many benefits, including saving thousands of dollars.
Dr. Van den Berghe, one of our physicians at APEX Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, has implemented our private-practice model to provide the best value for his patients. He believes getting phenomenal, expert care doesn’t have to break the bank or cause unnecessary financial stress.
Read on to learn more about how a private-practice model in orthopedics can bring you the most value.
How does a private orthopedic clinic add value?
In a private-practice orthopedic clinic such as APEX, we are not tied to one particular facility for testing and/or surgical procedures. Unlike a large hospital or university setting, we are not expected to perform our procedures within a specific health system for a greater financial gain.
Testing and examination at these larger facilities can be 5 to 10x more expensive than when you go through a private practice. Dr. Van den Berghe has seen this firsthand with his patients. In one particular instance, a patient received a neck and shoulder MRI at a public medical facility that cost him $22,000. For those same two studies, Dr. Van den Berghe has the freedom to choose an imaging center that would make the most of your money. Instead of paying $22,000, that patient could have paid $1,500 to $2,000.
Another thing patients might not realize is non-private clinics often charge a facility fee. For example, if you see Dr. Van den Berghe for shoulder pain and he treats you, the cost comes out to $150. On the other hand, if you went in for the same examination and received the same treatment at a non-private facility, you may pay the $150 then have an additional $100 tacked on as a facility fee (keep in mind these numbers are solely used as an example). These places are allowed to charge an extra fee simply because you visited their facility.
As a private-practice physician, Dr. Van den Berghe sometimes sees patients who have high deductibles. It may be troubling to some if they have to pay $10,000 out of pocket before their insurance company covers their treatments. To mitigate this, Dr. Van den Berghe has found that if he can save a patient thousands of dollars on even just one area, such as imaging, it can make a world of difference. Without ties to any certain facility, he can also offer multiple options for where he performs surgery. In many cases, ambulatory surgery centers tend to be less expensive than a hospital setting.
A higher price does not equal higher-quality service
Some people think if they go to a university hospital (or other large hospital), they are getting better orthopedic care. This is often due to advertisements on TV and higher visibility. The truth is, at APEX, our physicians have completed their fair share of training and can provide equal, if not better service. Dr. Van den Berghe even teaches other physicians surgical techniques via courses hosted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Arthroscopy Association.
A key takeaway here is that just because a physician or facility charges you more, it does not mean you are getting the best service through the most trained doctors. So a $22,000 MRI has nothing to do with the quality of the study, rather the location of the study. In fact, Dr. Van den Berghe believes his go-to outpatient imaging center has better MRI magnets, and the physicians reading the exams have completed fellowships in musculoskeletal radiology, meaning they are more trained. As a result, patients receive better care for a much lower cost.
While this may not be important to people who have low deductibles, choosing a lower price via a private practice can improve the overall experience for many patients. If you ever have questions or concerns about the difference in pricing in terms of your specific medical requirements, you can always speak to Dr. Van den Berghe or our other providers to help guide you through the smaller details.
Benefits of visiting a private orthopedic center
Outside of increased value, a private orthopedic center in Kansas City can provide better service that is cleaner, since you will not be around sick patients. In addition, the surgery centers Dr. Van den Berghe recommends are not only less expensive, but also often have the best equipment and technologies.
An aspect you may not think about is rapport building. No matter what kind of care you receive, you want to be able to trust your physician and feel comfortable, especially when some of the decisions can be difficult or recovery is not as smooth as projected. As a private practice, APEX ensures you are surrounded by a great staff and mid-level providers. We believe that the more care and compassion we can offer, the easier the journey will be. This is something that can be harder to duplicate in a larger setting, where staff is treating hundreds or even thousands of patients at a time.
For Dr. Van den Berghe building rapport and trust is crucial. As he is scheduling surgery, he may even recommend a patient receive a second opinion. For him, it is more important that you are secure with your decision than continuing care with him. If that means another physician is better for your needs, then he would be more than willing to guide you in the right direction. At a public facility, there may be more of a focus on getting patients in rather than actually taking the time to understand a patient’s wants and concerns.
What to expect during your first appointment at a private orthopedic clinic
One of the biggest differences between a private and public practice is that a private practice does not provide the exact same service to every patient. Therefore, you can expect your appointment to be specifically catered to you and your condition.
The length of your appointment will vary, depending on the complexity of the issue. In some instances, a patient may come in and say, “I fell off a ladder and think I may have torn my rotator cuff.” If the patient already has an idea of the issue, the first appointment may be shorter than the second appointment when we actually have the test results.
On the other hand, a patient may come in who has had multiple surgeries and musculoskeletal issues. In this case, the first appointment could take a long time. Since we emphasize patient education, Dr. Van den Berghe will take time to thoroughly discuss treatment options, costs, and results to expect.
During your first appointment and follow-up appointments, Dr. Van den Berghe typically starts by recommending conservative measures before turning to surgery or shoulder arthroscopy. For you, that means you don’t have to worry about him (or any APEX physician) pushing a surgical procedure, especially when other treatment options could help. This is part of our dedication to bringing value to our patients as a private-practice model.
Fortunately, Dr. Van den Berghe can manage shoulder, and even knee, injuries non-operatively with physical therapy. However, in some cases where patients have failed conservative treatments or have more extensive injuries, surgery may be the best and only option. Before taking any kind of action, Dr. Van den Berghe always has an in-depth conversation, enabling patients to make the right decision for themselves.
Get to Know Dr. Van den Berghe at APEX Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Dr. Van den Berghe is one of the few fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who specializes in shoulder injuries and surgical treatments. In his practice, he treats just about everything in regards to the shoulder—fractures, arthritis, people who need a total shoulder replacement, reverse shoulder replacements, etc. He will also examine and treat knee injuries such as meniscus or ACL tears.
With his passion for the complexity of the shoulder and offering the best treatments for his patients, Dr. Van den Berghe builds a unique rapport and relationship with every person he works with. He doesn’t believe he should be the sole decision maker in treatment; rather, he allows the patient to decide what they believe is best based on his expert recommendations.
Learn more about our private orthopedic clinic in Kansas City
By utilizing the benefits of APEX’s private-practice model, Dr. Van den Berghe ensures each patient receives the best value during their visit.
The core of his success lies in proper diagnosis. An appointment with Dr. Van den Berghe includes the highest quality technology to pinpoint a patient’s underlying musculoskeletal conditions. From there, he can better understand which sports medicine treatment will work best for you.
For a thorough evaluation of your shoulder pain or other orthopedic concerns with Dr. Van den Berghe, call us at 913-642-0200 or schedule an appointment today.