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The Power of Choice

Your Choice for St. Cloud Orthopedic Specialists

A Statement on Trauma Care from St. Cloud Orthopedics & Our Stance on a Patient’s Right to Choose

Dr. Kim Schaap on WJON regarding CentraCare:

In the News:
Star Tribune Article on this Topic: “St. Cloud Specialty Clinic Says CentraCare Trying to Strongarm Them Out of Business”

For nearly 70 years, St. Cloud Orthopedics has proudly served the community of St. Cloud and the surrounding area by providing nationally-recognized musculoskeletal care. We respect the patient’s right to choose where they receive their medical care and who provides this care. We are thankful to be your orthopedic provider of choice, as recognized by multiple Minnesota’s Best and Central Minnesota’s Best of the Best awards.

On January 3rd, 2023, CentraCare administration removed St. Cloud Orthopedics from the on-call schedule for orthopedic trauma patients coming to St. Cloud Hospital. This decision was made unilaterally by CentraCare administration without any input from the St. Cloud Hospital Department of Orthopedics or the community. The effect of this decision is the intentional exclusion of St. Cloud Orthopedics from the care of orthopedic trauma patients, further monopolizing CentraCare’s control of patient referrals and care. This is in direct contrast to the desired partnership St. Cloud Orthopedics has sought with the St. Cloud Hospital since our inception in 1955.

This change by CentraCare administration directly limits patient access to St. Cloud Orthopedics and our expertise in trauma-related injuries and complex fracture care. An unfortunate consequence of this decision has been felt by the patients of Dr. Mitch Kuhl, our trauma specialist and 2022 Healthcare Professional of the Year in Sartell. CentraCare administration has intentionally restricted his medical practice in orthopedic trauma surgery, which has been dedicated to providing outstanding fracture care for the people of Central Minnesota. Dr. Kuhl is now being forced to move his practice and family to another community. This decision by CentraCare administration also limits the ability of St. Cloud Orthopedics to recruit new orthopedic trauma surgeons to our community. With Dr. Kuhl’s departure, we no longer have the capacity to care for patients who are admitted to the hospital with certain types of complex and traumatic orthopedic injuries.

Rest-assured, St. Cloud Orthopedics will continue to provide award-winning care for your musculoskeletal injuries in our clinics and also in OrthoDirect, our walk-in urgent care for same-day appointments at both St. Cloud Orthopedics locations. Visiting our walk-in urgent care can eliminate a long ER wait and provide direct access to specialty bone and joint care in the most efficient setting. Currently, OrthoDirect is available from 8 am – 8 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am – 12 pm on Saturday. We are working hard to expand this coverage to 7 days per week soon, so continue to check our website for updates.

Just as we’ve always done, St. Cloud Orthopedics will continue to provide subspecialty orthopedic care for elective surgical procedures, non-operative management of musculoskeletal disease and injuries, as well as expert physical therapy and occupational therapy. This has not and will not change.

We respect the patient’s right to choose. A health system should not dictate how you receive your care and should not limit your access to the best board-certified physicians. You do have a CHOICE—be sure to make yours known. Ask for St. Cloud Orthopedics.

Thank you for supporting local independent healthcare practices like ours.  

Patients always have the right to choose where they receive their care. But what does it mean to choose an independent (privately-owned) healthcare clinic like St. Cloud Orthopedics over other bigger health systems? For the patient it often means:

  • Lower healthcare costs overall.
  • Improved quality of care due to strict board-certification standards and requirements set by the clinic.
  • More treatment options for your consideration.
  • Collaborative care where doctors and therapists work hand-in-hand, and are willing to coordinate with your primary care provider.
  • Providers who are specialists in their specific line of care.
  • Doctors, nurses, and staff who are invested in the community they work, live, and raise their families in.

Having the right to choose only stays in place if there are options, which is why independent healthcare clinics are so vital to patient freedom. 

For orthopedic care from our clinic, simply ASK the doctor you’re seeing for St. Cloud Orthopedics. We’re available by doctor request 24/7 for your convenience. And of course, by direct patient request during clinic hours.

Take a look at Dr. Kuhl’s video below, where he talks about the advantages of independent healthcare.

21 comments on “The Power of Choice”

  1. Independent Healthcare and “Choice” is essential to keeping quality competitive healthcare options available to us as well as to keep healthcare costs down. It’s essential in any community we are not forced to be limited by one choice. Monopolies in industries and communities limit choice, options, growth and costs. St. Cloud Orthopedics has provided specialty Orthopedic care in our community for over 75 years and are active sponsors and supporters. Doctors and staff at St. Cloud Orthopedics not only provide expert Orthopedic healthcare care and therapy services, but have been stewards in the development of trauma care at the hospital that they are now limited. St. Cloud Orthopedics supports many community education, sporting and local events, they support the community in which their doctors and staff live, work and shop in the same community. Without St. Cloud Orthopedics, we are limited in trauma care, orthopedic care access, timing and expected higher healthcare costs of 30% based off public healthcare cost comparisons.

  2. I have been a patient at St. Cloud Orthopedics since 1999 when I first started having hip issues. I had both hips replaced & a revision done by Dr. Holien. I’ve also been seen for wrist & elbow issues with Dr. Widstrom. I’ve seen Dr. Schapp & Dr. Ho lien for knee issues as well. Come to think of it I saw Dr. LaFonde in 1978 for scoliosis. I’ve been seen multiple times by the Physical & Occupational departments. I have been very pleased with the care I received. It saddens me that Centra Care is shutting this wonderful, long standing clinic out. I do and will choose St. Cloud Orthopedics when I can.

  3. I am very thankful that I had access to the orthopedic surgeon when I broke my ankle. It was nice to have the surgeon and the physical therapist in the same clinic, so they could communicate right away, instead of having to wait for them to connect.

  4. I would highly recommend any one to be seen at at St Cloud Orthopedics As I have seen many of the Doctors and PT myself.

  5. I definitively will stay with St. Cloud Orthopedics and YES WE SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE.

  6. I have always used St Cloud Orthopedics and will continue, my choice. When I broke my femur bone the Doctor from St Cloud Orthopedics was very caring and did an awesome job . I will now carry their phone number so I have access to their care.

  7. I worked with SC Ortho and a patient. I have use the ortho ortho care in St. Cloud and SC Ortho far exceeds better care and I was able to keep the cost
    down and they took care of me every step of the way.

  8. This decision is not in the best interest of the patient population in Central Minnesota. Just because CentraCare has orthopedic surgeons on their payroll should not affect St Cloud Orthopedics who have dedicated their practice to caring for our local community in emergency situations for so many years!

  9. I fully support enterprise; however, when a company strives for a monopoly such as Centra Care has, they begin to hire people with less than stellar performance records. For me, the Dr i was seeing at Centra Care twice ignored the medications I was taking and prescribed new meds that reacted badly and put my health in jeopardy. I left. I have used St. Cloud Orthopedics and have been very happy with the professional care I recieved. It is upsetting to know that Centra Care is using antics to push St. Cloud Ortbopedics out of St. Cloud area.

  10. I have been a patient of St Cloud orthopedic for many years dating back to Dr’ s LaFond, Zelney and Jurgens who started St Cloud Ortho I will always ask for St Cloud Ortho a couple of years ago when my Physician wanted to refer me to ccortho I said no!

  11. My family and I have been patients at St. Cloud Orthopedics for about 30 years. The care has been the best as well as the results. I will continue their care when needed and will recommend them to others.

    I am very disappointed to hear that CentraCare has made this decision.

  12. I was saddened to hear of CentraCare’s decision in this matter. I have been a patient of St Cloud Orthopedics since 2001 when Dr Geiser took care of my complicated Humerus Fx. I’ve seen Dr Green “many times” for Knee and Shoulder injuries. Dr Widstrom took care of my Thumb Arthroplasty and Dr Sigridson my Foot problems. I was given excellent care before, during and after every single time. The Physical Therapy dept is also fantastic! I will pass on to my family members that if possible to request St Cloud Orthopedics be consulted first!

  13. In early 2020, I had a major knee injury running agility with my dog in Maple Grove. After 3 days in the hospital in the metro with no answers, I checked myself out and sought help at St. Cloud Orthopedics. Dr. Green reviewed my imaging from the hospital, and within minutes recommended I be seen at the Mayo Clinic, which I did – I’ll forever be thankful for this, as I had multi-ligament reconstruction surgery three weeks later, and was able to do my 70+ visits of physical therapy at St. Cloud Orthopedics, even through the height of Covid. I received excellent care in partnership with my team at Mayo, and as a result I’m now able to live a normal life with a fully functional knee. It’s so incredibly important that we have the ability to choose our own care team to find the right providers to fit our situation. I will always recommend St. Cloud Orthopedics to anyone I know who needs the specialty care they provide.

  14. I too am disappointed with the high handed efforts of CentraCare to monopolize where someone would chose to receive their orthopedic care. I feel if the Hospital services have been available since 1955, that plan should continue, to allow patients their right to free choice of providers and facilities. I have been with St Cloud Orthopedics for knee replacement with Dr Steven Mulawka, both hips Dr Joseph Nessler, Dr Mitch Kuhl put me back together after a fall where my knee replacement broke my femur. Dr Nessler for bursitis in my hip. Complete confidence my care from everyone from Doctors, PA’s, Nurses, X-ray. Plus I was allowed to do my rehab with my own rural clinic. Healthcare has become restricted by these Healthcare Systems taking over in our State.

  15. Centra Care should work on improving the care they provide. They can’t even provide the specialist doctors they need. The emergency room is a disaster trying to see a heart specialist is impossible. And follow up is laughable

  16. I have had excellent care from St. Cloud Orthopedics and believe they offer top of the field care. I was referred to them and Dr. Schaff for rotator cuff care ( she also got me started on a huge weight loss of 125 lbs plus ) and then I received superb care from Dr. Sigurdson (podiatry) for almost 20 years. I had been on a knee walker for 3 solid years but with Dr. Sigurdson’ s care and cooperation with Centra Care Wound Care I am now walking again. Centra Care is making a poor decision in my honest opinion to be excluding and limiting St. Cloud Orthopedics Drs. I will always recommend St. Cloud Orthopedics and choose it for my own personal needs.

  17. I choose StCloud Orthopedic for problems they given me the ability to walk with out pain Dr Murphy was great he replaced both knees,right hip and left shoulder also repaired my right shoulder I would not change a thing about my care.

  18. I’ve had both hips and both knees done with St. Cloud Ortho and have been very happy with the outcomes. I can’t imagine why CentraCare would limit patient’s choices unless it is all (and only) about the money. This is so disappointing.

  19. I have been a patient at St Cloud Orthopedics many times and have been impressed with the level of care I received. I will continue to request my care referrals be sent there. I am very disappointed that Centra Care continues to work toward a monopoly of medical care in this area.

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