As Dr. Steve Madey, one of the partners and a specialist in hand and microvascular surgery, explains, “We’ve noticed through the years a lot of cases come to us that didn’t necessarily need to go through the traditional ER setting, so we thought it would be easier for people without limb-threatening, life-threatening problems to have direct access, to not wait and go through the hoops of a large institution.”
Go To Ortho streamlines the process considerably compared to an ER setting, where a patient usually sees a triage nurse, then an emergency medicine doctor before seeing an orthopedic surgeon to diagnose and treat injuries definitively.
The ortho urgent-care setting is also less expensive. One study of an orthopedic urgent care clinic in Reno, Nevada found the average charge to be $461, compared with $8,150 in a hospital ER. During the course of the year-long study, the orthopedic urgent care model saved the health care system $98 million.
“We’re giving access to specialized care in an expedited fashion at a reasonable cost,” Madey said. “Our clinic is not the type of thing you need every day, but when you need it, it’s really important. How you get treated really impacts the next three to six months of your life.”
Madey and his partners — Drs. Britton Frome, Corey Vande Zandschulp and Amer Mirza — specialize in trauma, though Mirza also does joint replacements.
“We each venture into elective (procedures), but we’re primarily dealing with people who have just gotten hurt,” Madey said.
The Go To Ortho Urgent Care Clinic is connected to and a subsidiary of Summit Orthopaedics, where the doctors also practice. Patients who are treated at Go To Ortho would be referred to the other practice if they need ongoing care.
The urgent care clinic, which takes both walk-ins and appointments, is geared to treating any type of musculoskeletal injury — those involving the joints, muscles, nerves, bones, ligaments, tissue, tendons and skin. The doctors do a lot of reconstruction of nerves and small vessels.
Go To Ortho doesn’t perform surgeries on site, but it can treat sprains, fractures, cuts, and wounds and do splints, casts and stitches. Some patients have injured themselves at home or in car accidents, whereas many others sustained injuries on the job. Go To Ortho surgeons can perform surgeries at an area hospital for patients who may need them.
“We’ve seen a lot of falls, a lot of cuts, quite a few broken bones, and dislocations, those types of things,” Madey said. “We’re very industrial-injury oriented as well — chop your hand off, your finger off or crush your hand.”
As Madey sees it, there are two problems in patient care — overtreatment and undertreatment, and therein lies the value proposition for an urgent care clinic like Go To Ortho.
“We aim to treat people appropriately for what happened to them,” he said. “Our priority is maximizing quality, not price.”