Published by The Alumni Society January 4, 2017
Over the past few years, Alejandro Badia has successfully established OrthoNOW as the nation’s only franchised orthopedic urgent care center. His idea evolved out of a frustration with the inefficiency of patients having to go to the ER for an orthopedic injury or the general urgent care for musculoskeletal pain. Badia has expanded to seven OrthoNOW locations in Florida and Georgia, but that’s only the start. His plan is to take his great idea and change the way emergency orthopedic care is delivered on a much larger scale. The Alumni Society sat down with Badia to talk about where is focus is at the start of 2017, what he needs to make his vision a reality, and an innovative collaboration with Uber.
Alejandro Badia: I want to give better access to orthopedic healthcare, offer more specialized expertise, and do it in a way that’s efficient and cost-effective and on a large scale. OrthoNOW doesn’t need to improve what we offer—what we have works. What we need is to grow and scale. We have proven that we are excellent first-responders in the case of an orthopedic injury, and we have the technology necessary to offer the best possible treatment. We also improve access to specialized care for any type of musculoskeletal malady, whether arthritis or low back pain. We have an excellent concept, operational systems, and all the tools in place. We’re ready for the next level and we are actively building the support necessary to bring our idea into the mainstream. This will involve establishing more OrthoNOW franchised centers in major US markets.
AB: Let’s say you step off the curb and sprain your ankle and you most likely will not be able to walk it off. You go to the hospital emergency room and wait four to six hours to see the doctor because the guy who has chest pains and the kid with an asthma attack will be treated first. When you finally do see the ER doctor he/she will order an X-ray. If no fracture is discovered, you’ll be sent on your way. However, just because you don’t have a fracture it doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem.
Here is what happens next, the ER doctor will refer you to see a general orthopedist which involves ‘homework,’ as my CFO describes it. You will have to get an appointment with the orthopedist and miss another important life activity to do so. The orthopedist might then need refer you to a specialist and give you even more homework. The bottom line is, you’ve now spent a couple of weeks, you have had three X-rays, paid hard earned money and you still haven’t solved the problem. That’s where OrthoNOW can intervene. You come straight to a specialist with little or no wait time for a significantly reduced cost and superior outcome.
AB: As great of an idea as OrthoNOW is, it hasn’t yet secured a place in popular culture. This is largely because insurance companies have not understood how to merge our innovative and disruptive healthcare delivery model into their “traditional” system. The bottom line for insurance companies, employers, and the general population is that our business model saves money. The system, as it stands today, is both incredibly inefficient and redundant. While hardly anybody talks about this they should. We have as one of our primary goals for 2017 is to reach the decision-makers who will understand how a partnership with OrthoNOW is a win-win for all.
By Thomas Sullivan Last Updated Oct 4, 2023