The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 31, 2014

Health providers holding down costs while better coordinating care

Health providers holding down costs while better coordinating care


Baby boomers, sports keep OFC busy

OFC is the only provider of orthopedic services in south-central Minnesota with offices in Mankato, Faribault, Hutchinson and Northfield, as well as doing work at many hospitals in smaller communities in the area. They have 15 orthopods and 125 employees.

Meyers said the number of total joint replacements continues to grow at a rapid pace. “When the last of the baby boomers retire, 50 percent of the population will be baby boomers. And we baby boomers are at the age where the number of total joint replacements keeps going up.”

Sports medicine also has grown to be a big part of OFC’s business. While all the providers do some sports-related work, OFC now has three sports-trained orthopods on staff. After doing any needed surgery, OFC offers physical therapy.

While there has always been about the same number of kids playing sports, Meyers said there are more injuries and at younger ages now.

“We start kids in sports so early now. By the time they’re in high school, they have 10 years of experience and they are performing at levels we used to see in college. Years ago kids weren’t blowing ACLs or dislocating shoulders.”

OFC does much of its surgery in the surgery center on the Wickersham campus – a center owned equally by the Mankato Clinic and OFC. They have a new open MRI and a new 3.0 MRI, both of which are the largest available.

But the OFC doctors also perform surgeries at the hospital in Mankato and in other communities. If, for example, someone is brought to the Emergency Department in Mankato, OFC doctors would handle any orthopedic surgery that is needed.

“It might be something we do right away, or with something like a twisted knee, we want it to calm down for a while and may wait until later (to do surgery).”

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