News and Views

Group Practice Journal
Michael Shabot, M.D. FACS, FCCM, FACMI, is chief medical officer, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston and Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics and the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.

Michael Warneke, M.D. is medical director of quality, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.

The authors walk through the rationale, steps taken and results from a re-engineered clinical shoulder injury pathway program focused on rotator cuff tears.  By using the appropriately skilled provider at the right time and through first line use of ultrasound instead of MRI, the program lead to the clinic being able to serve more patients by improving physician efficiency.   The result was exceptional economic and clinical value: the program ultimately provided a 40% decrease in MRIs and a 10% decrease in surgeries. Current reimbursement rates suggest a 75% savings for each patient that receives an ultrasound compared to MRI, and a 90% cost savings for every patient that responds to the physical therapy course of treatment and avoids surgery.