Is Orthopedic Ultrasound for Me?


Vision…the art of seeing things invisible Jonathan Swift

There are plenty of uncertainties in the world of medicine today. Some things, however, are pretty clear. We all know that are our worlds are changing every day and because of those changes we cannot remain stagnant. We must be proactive in our growth or suffer the consequences of our in-action. Today there is a frontal attack on the earning capacity of a medical practice. Reduced fees and greater scheduling requirements are an example of this assault. Medical practices are also dealing with non-medical situations that were of little concern only a short time ago. High unemployment has created a patient population having higher deductible insurance or no insurance at all while at the same time the population is aging quickly. In the next few years approximately 30% of the population (baby boomers) will be 65 years of age orolder and receiving Medicare benefits. Doctors must become serious about increasing the income potential of their practices. With all of this talk of doom and gloom there is good news for those with the vision to see it. Great opportunity always exists in time of change. To the aware physician the inevitable changes will provide an opportunity of a lifetime.

There are three ways to increase practice income:

  1. Get more patients - not necessarily the ideal solution with so many low paying insurance plans.
  2. Charge your existing patients more money - You can stop laughing now.
  3. Add additional services to your practice - anything the practice needs or is referring out that helps provide quality patient care and convenience.

Important Questions

  1. Belief in the technology. Do I believe the technology is credible and will be used?
  2. Applications. Do I have practical applications in my practice for the technology?
  3. Economics. How profitable is Orthopedic Ultrasound testing and are the services covered by third party payers.
  4. Acquisition Options. How do I maximize the use of my capital i.e. bank financing, commercial leasing, other options, to receive the best return on investment (ROI)?

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Important Answers

  1. Belief in the technology. The credibility of the technology is not an issue and never has been. By way of example Medicare has just added new code numbers specifically for Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. If belief in the technology is an issue, please save yourself any further reading and exit now.
  2. Applications. There are many applications for Orthopedic Ultrasound testing each involving the diagnosis of soft tissue injuries. The major areas of evaluation and use are:

    • Shoulders
    • Elbows
    • Hand/wrist
    • Hip
    • Knee
    • Foot/ankle
    • Needle guided procedures i.e. infiltration/aspiration.
    • (see diagnostic application under this heading)

  3. Economics. As previously mentioned Medicare has specific procedure codes for Orthopedic Ultrasound testing and Needle Guided Procedures. In addition, all private insurance companies including State Workers Compensation pay for the procedures. The average reimbursement for a bi-lateral examination is $228 utilizing Medicare guidelines.

  4. Acquisition Options. Presently the most advantageous method of product acquisition is either bank financing or leasing. Both options presently offer the lowest interest rates in years. In addition, there is the IRS Part 179 tax credit that enables a tax credit for capital equipment purchases up to $750,000 in the first year of acquisition. For our economic example we will use a $2,200 per month lease expense (cost of equipment).

Orthopedic Ultrasound

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Musculoskeletal ultrasound has become an increasingly important sonographic imaging technology over the past decade as it is an effective tool used in the evaluation and treatment of joint and soft tissue disorders. It can also be a significant additional source of revenue. Our Musculoskeletal Ultrasound solutions have benefited Rheumatologists, Orthopedics, Pain Management Physicians, Sports Medicine Physicians, Radiologists, Sonographers and Anesthesiologists. Orthopedic Ultrasound, Inc. offers complete, revenue generating, turn-key musculoskeletal ultrasound solutions for medical practices of every size. Contact one of our Musculoskeletal ultrasound equipment consultants to learn more about how our musculoskeletal ultrasound systems can help your practice grow.