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 avail able, 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. It began franchising in January 2014.
There are currently six franchises in Florida and five planned in South Jersey. There are territories available across the country.
“We have very strong leads in Southern California, Pennsylvania, Texas, the rest of Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland. It goes on and on. We are meeting with people in Boston next Wednesday,” explained Tom Ferro, President of OrthoNOW®. “We have had discussions with people on an international
level. I think once the U.S. aspect becomes really entrenched, we should expand internationally within the next few years.”
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.
“Orthopedic health care providers such as a single orthopedic surgeon, a group of orthopedic surgeons, or an ambulatory surgery owner, are all an ideal franchise fit for the company. However, secondary targets include private investors or someone with a healthcare industry understanding,” explained Ferro.
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. “One significant benefit of owning the franchise is the revenue portfolio management provided to franchisees through OrthoNOW®. This significantly expands the revenue potential for a franchisee vs. opening a center on their own. OrthoNOW® accomplishes this by the several exclusive strategic partnerships with various technology firms,” states Ferro.
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.
“They could learn something and focus on growing their business. That way, it is an ongoing partnership and we plan on frequent touches with our franchisee. It’s not when you buy it, you own it and are on your own. We want each franchisee to be successful and our goal is to provide support on an ongoing basis, not only thru quarterly reviews,” continued Ferro.
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.
“Very rarely do you find a business that directly addresses every stakeholder involved. The benefits to the patients are very clear and concise: immediate effective treatment versus waiting for hours and higher costs elsewhere for treatment,” says Ferro.
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. Coming to OrthoNOW®, the average collection per patient is $275. 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.
“Once that patient comes into OrthoNOW®, it becomes a source to generate additional downstream revenues for that orthopedic group practice,” said Ferro. For instance, sixteen percent of the patients that come through the doors end up in surgery and twenty five percent are referred for rehab and many of those surgeons have a rehab clinic. And yet another source of downstream revenue is imaging technology. Seventeen percent of the patients require an MRI.
“We are an orthopedic group practice that is a fully integrated healthcare network: from injury to treatment to recovery,” continued Ferro.
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
“Every other technology on the market today is focusing on the symptom and sometimes you get temporary relief. However, by reconfiguring the messages of the nerves to the muscle, you’re able to address the problem. It’s a significant benefit,” explained Ferro.
OrthoNOW® is presenting new technology to the public and bringing orthopedic care to the consumer.
From a franchising perspective, an investor is provided with various technologies that strategically fit the business model as well as the patients that come through the door. “Part of our portfolio management services is exclusive technology and exclusive strategic partnerships,” said Ferro. “We have a space in orthopedic care and companies are partnering with us because this is a new market that we have created and a distribution channel for their product which provides a significant upside benefit to the franchisee.”
Whether it is reduced costs for certain products or access to exclusive technology, OrthoNOW® provides an advantage within its own marketplace.
“Anyone can put a shingle up and call themselves an orthopedic care facility but, we are not only offering a turn-key franchise but also providing a robust business model that will continuously provide additional revenue opportunities to grow the practice,” explained Ferro.
OrthoNOW® saves a lot of legwork by sorting through all the different technologies, setting up meetings with companies and offering a board of colleagues with experience and information, while also providing a continuous profitable revenue stream.
Alejandro Badia , MD, FACS is a hand and upper extremity surgeon at Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Doral, Florida. Dr. Badia was educated at Cornell and NYU, trained in orthopedics at Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, a hand/microsurgery fellowship in Pittsburgh and trauma fellowship in Germany. Badia served as worldwide president of ISSPORTH and co-founded the MARC Training Laboratory. He recently launched OrthoNOW®, the only orthopedic urgent care center franchise.
Tom Ferro is a global healthcare industry senior executive crossfunctionally trained in sales, marketing, product development, business development, and market development with the industry’s top firms including: Johnson & Johnson, Stryker Corporation, Biomet, Becton Dickinson and Company, and Baxter. Tom has also been involved at the executive level in two start-ups including: Global Orthopedic Network, Inc. and is currently the President of OrthoNOW®.
For more information visit: www.orthonowcare.com