The demand for orthopaedic care: What orthopaedic surgeons need to know

By A. Alex Jahangir, MD; Manish K. Sethi, MD; Elliott W. Cole, BS; and William T. Obremskey, MD, MPH

Health care is a major driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the national gross domestic product. Yet, 47 million Americans lack health insurance and do not participate in the healthcare system, in part due to the cost of care.

With its push toward universal healthcare coverage, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will dramatically reshape the structure of the American healthcare landscape. As the healthcare system mobilizes to include millions of newly insured patients, healthcare providers must understand the various factors that influence demand for their services. Specifically, orthopaedic surgeons must develop an understanding of the many factors influencing the potential need for orthopaedic care in the United States. With a more nuanced understanding of future demand, orthopaedic departments can plan for future resource needs and allocation.

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