This past week we held our annual RegenexxNetwork Providers meeting in Colorado. One of the statistics we showed was that over the last 12 months we’ve had 309 physicians inquire on-line and that we accepted only 7 on the network. Why?
As you may know, we carefully screen physicians who want to offer stem cells to treat orthopedic injuries through injection rather than surgery (what we call interventional orthopedics). Once they meet our very strict criteria, they’re then extensively trained via a second to none education program and continuous support system. Depending on how you slice and dice the numbers, we “accepted” about 2% of the physicians who were interested in being a part of the network. If you look at the metric from the standpoint of the number of physicians who got to the point of a formal application (filling out a CORE skills checklist), about 6-7% of physicians who were finally accepted were serious applicants.
What are the credentials we’re looking for? First, physicians must have already developed great needle guidance skills (x-ray or ultrasound) before they’ll be considered. So this rules out many general practitioners and surgeons (including most orthopedic surgeons). Second, we’ve developed a rigorous set of either x-ray guided or ultrasound guided procedures that physicians must know to be on the network (what we call a CORE skills checklist). They not only have to say they know them, but they also have to prove it. Third, they also have to know how to approach the patient using an Orthopedics 2.0 philosophy. Finally, physicians have to be board certified in certain fields that are compatible with being a good Regenexx provider.
Why do it this way? Wouldn’t it be easier if you took every physician with a drivers licence and heart beat? One of the big problems with new technology is that while the inventors can seem to produce great results, once it gets mass produced and put into the hands of hundreds of thousands of physicians, the results drop off precipitously. I and my colleagues have observed this time and time again. We don’t want the same thing happening to the Regenexx procedures, hence the ultra-strict acceptance policy.
Don’t others in the stem field who treat orthopedic issues like arthritis do this? No. If you’re a device rep selling automated bedside centrifuge systems to isolate a stem cell fraction out of bone marrow (90% or so of the doctors advertising stem cells for orthopedic purposes use these), you want to sell as many devices as possible. Hence any physician with a heart beat will qualify for a sale. The only thing the physician needs to know is how to press the “on” button. A few of our competitors go a little further by offering training. However, most will train just about any physician who signs up. One or two will require a board certification in a related field. However, none have developed strict criteria for exactly what someone must know before they’re trained. In addition, none have developed a CORE skills checklist by body area that everyone on the network must know.
The upshot? Depending on how you slice and dice the metrics, being accepted onto the network puts you into a very exclusive group and is either harder or just as hard as getting into Harvard. Nobody else does this in this industry. Why do we do it? We’re very focused on making sure that if you chose to see one of the RegenexxNetwork Providers he or she can produce high quality results!