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Our Message to the Community on Patient Choice

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

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.