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When a medical emergency happens, everyone immediately goes to an emergency room. The wait can last hours and can result in ineffective outcomes.
A broken arm at the playground is not necessarily top priority in an emergency waiting room. OrthoNOW allows patients to skip that lengthy process and receive immediate treatment.
“Your kid falls, what do you do? He is holding his elbow, it’s swollen, and it hurts. So you go to the ER,” explained Dr. Alejandro Badia, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of OrthoNOW.
“That is what OrthoNOW hopes to change. When you go to the ER you could wait up to five or six hours with a broken arm. It is not considered a medical emergency. Your child will need an x-ray and then be told to see an orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up visit. Then, you then have to navigate it with your insurance company. Think about what an ordeal that can be.”
The tag line is “because injuries don’t happen by appointment.” At OrthoNOW, a child with a broken elbow would be seen within ten minutes, receive an x-ray and there is someone on site who can perform the appropriate splinting and a surgeon is available, if necessary. This scenario can be considered with an injured worker or sports injury amongst many other emergencies. OrthoNOW simplifies this process, while also making it more expert and decreasing the costs.
“I was a franchisee of a general urgent care center organization. I was tired of seeing patients going the usual route. They would go to the ER and, by the time I saw them, it was pretty late in the game. They spent a lot of money and were very frustrated,” recalled Badia. “As a franchisee of the general urgent care center, the message wasn’t clear; the whole concept wasn’t focused. I was hoping to drive urgent care issues to it but, we had competitors in the area that had been there a long time. I learned a lot about the franchise concept and how a franchisee should be supported.” Dr. Badia closed his franchise and reopened as OrthoNOW in mid 2012 as an isolated orthopedic urgent care center. There are territories available across the country.
The organization’s main focus is orthopedic services. It handles not only sprains and strains, but also concussions, which is a part of sports medicine. OrthoNOW reaches out to sports teams and big employers to give them the ability to see the appropriate specialist right away without going through the middleman A typical general urgent care unit offers treatment by general physicians, while orthopedic providers staff OrthoNOW. Once you enter the facility, there is no reason to leave for more medical attention.
Healthcare is an opportunity that is constantly in need; it is not just a trend. As long as an investor receives the proper training, they could easily own a series of OrthoNOW facilities in an area. OrthoNOW provides franchisees with various training and support before and after an opening.
The franchisee is invited to Miami pre-opening for a week of formal training across all aspects of the business from check in and office management to community marketing, including effectively leveraging various technologies. “Essentially our goal is to train each individual franchisee in the best practices as far as running all aspects of the business and operations,” said Ferro.
There is ongoing support through quarterly business reviews with each franchisee, benchmarking their performances in different critical business categories. It is an opportunity for improvement and a means to identify areas of opportunity for growth through shared practices of why some clinics are doing better than others in a particular area.
There is currently no direct competitor with OrthoNOW, except urgent care facilities and the emergency ward. OrthoNOW provides many technologies and benefits from joining them as a franchisee, in comparison to other care facilities.
The second stakeholder is the insurance company. The cost to the insurance company after the OR is $1500-$2000 at a minimum, depending on the injury for any orthopedic injury. That is a significant cost savings, not only to the insurance provider, but also to the overall healthcare system.
The third stakeholder is the orthopedic surgeon. This model is a practice builder and serves as a patient magnet to attract new patients to help grow an orthopedic group practice.
OrthoNOW provides many new and upcoming technologies, including ARPwave, which is an electrical stimulation device that triggers the nerves and reconfigures the messaging to the muscle. This device significantly reduces pain and increases range of motion by focusing on the problem, rather than the symptom.
Whether it is reduced costs for certain products or access to exclusive technology, OrthoNOW® provides an advantage within its own marketplace.