Today's Top 20 Stories
  1. May/June 2022 Issue of Becker's Spine Review

    ON THE COVER 23 spine device companies to watch in 2022 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the spine industry, innovation and mergers and acquisitions activity continues to pick up steam among medtech companies in 2022. The spine tech surgeons say will explode in the next 5 years Regenerative medicine, patient-specific implants and artificial intelligence continue to gather momentum in the spine field, but robotics and augmented reality are the technologies surgeons expect to become more prominent in the next five years. Robots keeping the next generation of spine surgeons out of ASCs Robotic technology is growing among spine surgeons, and fellows are learning to use the technology for more precise outcomes. But if they become too reliant on robotics for spine surgery, the transition to outpatient surgery centers could be problematic. The toughest decisions spine surgeons have to make From dealing with serious postoperative complications to choosing the right practice partners and learning when to say no, five spine surgeons detail the most difficult decisions they've had to make in their careers. TikTok spine surgery: Dr. Chester Donnally's winning formula Almost two years after completing a spine surgery fellowship at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia, Chester Donnally, MD, is making a name for himself both in and outside of the operating room. 11 spine medtech CEOs: Who gets paid the most? The compensation of medtech leaders varies based on the company's size and market share. While some have a larger base salary, others have higher bonuses and stock option value. Cost of total disc replacement in the 30 largest US cities Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, are the most expensive cities in the U.S. to undergo total disc replacement surgery, according to Healthcare Bluebook, which helps patients shop for affordable care in their area. The best career advice 6 spine surgeons received From getting your practice off the ground to owning complications when they occur and learning from mistakes, six spine surgeons from private practices across the country shared the best advice they've received from another surgeon. 40+ of the largest orthopedic groups in the US by number of physicians Here are more than forty of the largest independent orthopedic practices in the U.S., ranked by the number of physicians on staff, including 14 practices with more than 100 physicians. Walmart's latest partnership pushes retailer into spine care Beginning April 1, a chain of spinal health and wellness centers will begin popping up at Walmart stores, another key move in the retailer's push into the healthcare industry. Degeneration less likely with disc replacement than spinal fusion, study says Cervical artificial disc replacements were less likely to result in degenerative complications compared to spinal fusions, according to a study published in the February 2022 edition of the International Journal of Spine Surgery. SPINE SURGEONS Lawsuits build against Aetna's spine surgery coverage Another lawsuit has been filed against Aetna Life Insurance, arguing that the insurer improperly limits coverage for lumbar artificial disc replacement by treating the procedures as experimental and investigational. Spine surgeon owes $17M to paralyzed patient A West Virginia man was awarded $17 million from a jury after he was left paralyzed following spine surgery, Metro News reported March 31. How many orthopedic surgeons are in the US? There are currently 22,965 orthopedic surgeons in the US, according to data firm Definitive Healthcare. Cost of total disc replacement in the 30 largest US cities Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, are the most expensive cities in the U.S. to undergo total disc replacement surgery, according to Healthcare Bluebook, which helps patients shop for affordable care in their area. Payer enacts coverage for 1, 2-level disc replacement in Utah, Idaho A third-party payer established positive coverage for one- and two- level lumbar disc replacement with Centinel Spine's Prodisc L, the devicemaker said April 5. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The spine tech surgeons say will explode in the next 5 years Regenerative medicine, patient-specific implants and artificial intelligence continue to gather momentum in the spine field, but robotics and augmented reality are the technologies surgeons expect to become more prominent in the next five years. The toughest decisions spine surgeons have to make From dealing with serious postoperative complications to choosing the right practice partners and learning when to say no, five spine surgeons detail the most difficult decisions they've had to make in their careers. TikTok spine surgery: Dr. Chester Donnally's winning formula Almost two years after completing a spine surgery fellowship at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia, Chester Donnally, MD, is making a name for himself both in and outside of the operating room. 'It has never been better to be independent': Why 4 spine surgeons are sticking to private practice Despite the challenges for surgeons in private practice — including rising costs, declining reimbursements and administrative hurdles — the autonomy, work-life balance and close patient relationships are some of the benefits that can make it worthwhile. AR vs. robots: What spine surgeons prefer today While still in their infancy, robotics and augmented reality have demonstrated significant potential in spine surgery, with many surgeons excited to see how these two technologies will be integrated in the future. But which technology are surgeons gravitating toward as they stand now? PRACTICE MANAGEMENT Spine surgeons on Instagram: 10 physicians building a following More patients are using online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to seek information on medical conditions, treatment options and physicians. Spine surgeons, recognizing the value of social media, are using such platforms to build their brand, engage and educate patients, and strengthen their referral base. UVA Health orthopedic supercenter becomes 1 of 4 on East Coast The University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville has opened a 195,000-square-foot campus that provides the breadth of orthopedic care under one roof. $170M Colorado orthopedic hospital pushed back to July 2023 The opening of Centura Health's hospital under construction in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been delayed to July 2023 because of supply chain disruptions and related issues, The Gazette reported April 4. Outpatient orthopedic hospital to close, lay off staff Shriners Hospitals for Children plans to close an orthopedic hospital in Tampa that shifted to outpatient-only care in 2019, Tampa Bay Times reported Feb. 3. Orthopedic practices trending toward independent supergroups Independent orthopedic practices are weighing partnerships that will provide a launch pad for future growth as increasing administrative and economic hurdles continue to plague small to midsize physician groups. DEVICES & IMPLANTS 23 spine device companies to watch in 2022 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the spine industry, innovation and mergers and acquisitions activity continues to pick up steam among medtech companies in 2022. Augmedics taps former Medtronic, DePuy Synthes execs as leaders Augmedics added former DePuy Synthes President Nadav Tomer to the board of directors and former Medtronic executive Reed Krider as chief marketing officer. Surgeons excited by the power of big tech in orthopedics Big tech's push into healthcare promises big things for the orthopedic industry as wearable technologies offer providers data and insights in a way they have never had at their disposal. Wenzel Spine founder and CEO Chad Neely dead at 47 Chad Neely, founder and CEO of Wenzel Spine, died March 7, the devicemaker said. 11 spine medtech CEOs: Who gets paid the most? The compensation of medtech leaders varies based on the company's size and market share. While some have a larger base salary, others have higher bonuses and stock option value. ASC Robots keeping the next generation of spine surgeons out of ASCs Robotic technology is growing among spine surgeons, and fellows are learning to use the technology for more precise outcomes. But if they become too reliant on robotics for spine surgery, the transition to outpatient surgery centers could be problematic. ASCs must give cost estimates to patients: 7 details ASCs and physician practices are required to provide cost estimates for expected charges to self-pay patients when scheduling procedures or services as part of the No Surprises Act, which went into effect Jan. 1. Inflation hits ASCs, physicians hard The cost of essential goods jumped 7 percent last year, outpacing the reimbursement increases to healthcare providers across the board. ASC chain that developed 250+ centers gets private equity investment Raleigh, N.C.-based Compass Surgical Partners has secured a minority investment by Health Velocity Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on healthcare services and software businesses. Commercial payers driving cases to ASCs; orthopedics most primed for growth A growing number of commercial insurers are revamping policies to push providers and patients out of the hospital and into ASCs, where procedures can be performed at a lower cost. HEALTHCARE NEWS 892 hospitals at risk of closure, state by state More than 500 rural hospitals in the U.S. are at immediate risk of closing because of financial losses and lack of financial reserves to sustain operations, according to a report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. 2 orthopedic surgeons running for Congress in 2022 An orthopedic surgeon in Alaska and another in Montana are among the candidates seeking election to the U.S. Congress in November. Hospital CEOs are joining the Great Resignation The number of departing hospital CEOs is on the rise as C-level executives are grappling with challenges tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark Cuban is ready to buck healthcare's status quo Whether they take the form of pharmacy benefit managers or spokespeople, Mark Cuban cuts out middlemen. Walmart's 10 spine Centers of Excellence: Mayo Clinic, Geisinger and more Walmart's Centers of Excellence program for spine surgery affiliates with health systems that demonstrate appropriate and high-quality care with great outcomes.
  2. Orthopedic surgeons’ firsthand experience with RFID-based hardware tracking systems

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been used in orthopedic surgery for almost a decade to remotely track tagged devices and instruments via cloud-based software that can monitor location, models and configurations, expiration dates and other variables, with potentially significant advantages to patients and institutional operations. 
  3. California orthopedic practice expands

    Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgery Specialists and Advanced Orthopedics expanded to its eighth location.

3 things to know about spine surgeries using personalized interbody devices

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  1. Central Vermont Medical Center opens orthopedic clinic

    Berlin-based Central Vermont Medical Center opened an orthopedic clinic in Waterbury Center, Vt., Waterbury Roundabout reported June 22.
  2. Orthobiologics company launches cortical allograft product line

    Istos Biologics launched the Influx Fibrant line of 100 percent cortical allograft products.
  3. Orthopedic surgeons added to digital health advisory board

    Exer Labs, a digital health company, added three orthopedic surgeons from Colorado to its team of advisers.
  4. Conmed closes $145M acquisition of orthopedic devicemaker

    Conmed completed its $145 million acquisition of In2Bones, a devicemaker focused on upper and lower extremities.

The influence of Nanotechnology on postoperative opioid consumption in ALIF procedures

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  1. OrthoPediatrics to acquire devicemaker for $33M

    OrthoPediatrics is set to acquire Pega Medical in a $33 million deal.
  2. FDA clears SI-Bone pelvic fracture implant system

    SI-Bone announced FDA clearance for iFuse-TORQ, its 3D-printed implant technology used to treat pelvic fractures, on June 13.
  3. Dr. Samuel Joseph launches spine foundation

    Samuel A. Joseph, MD, founder of the Joseph Spine Institute in Tampa, has announced the opening of a foundation. 

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Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months

  • Family of patient who died after orthopedic surgery wins $35M verdict against hospital
  • Orthopedic surgeon wins $20M verdict against Johnson & Johnson
  • Minnesota orthopedic group hit with $111M negligence verdict
  • Spine surgeon's video hits 1 million views on TikTok
  • Spine surgeon killed in Oklahoma hospital shooting
  • Spine surgeon owes $17M to paralyzed patient
  • Providence to pay $22.7M to settle unnecessary spine surgery allegations
  • MSOs becoming attractive option for physician-owned orthopedic groups
  • Connecticut hospital to appeal $12.5M verdict to family of patient who died after orthopedic surgery
  • 'They're on really thin ice': Why 1 insurer has drawn spine surgeons' ire
  • 4 spine technologies that promised more than they delivered
  • Spine surgeon 1 of 9 physician billionaires on Forbes' 2022 list
  • Orthopedic surgeon's health system exit steeped in controversy
  • Orthopedic surgeon salary vs. average household income in each state
  • 23 spine device companies to watch in 2022
  • Terminated orthopedic surgeon contracts with another New York hospital
  • Orthopedic surgeon sues Sanford Health, alleges defamation and interference with patients
  • Orthopedic surgeon convicted of battery at hospital
  • Billionaire spine surgeon buys $23.9M mansion
  • Could Medtronic's spine business be the next medtech spinoff?
  • Medtronic accused of stealing Globus Medical's sales team, customers
  • Ex-NFL player gets 5 years in prison for $2.9M healthcare fraud scheme
  • 41 'rising stars' in orthopedics
  • The spine tech surgeons say will explode in the next 5 years
  • Orthopedic surgeon indicted in $10M telemedicine fraud scheme
  • Neurosurgeon's startup hits $1.2B valuation
  • Orthopedic surgeon fined for operating on wrong knee
  • Good news, bad news for orthopedic surgeons: 6 observations
  • Former spine surgeon owes $13M to 2 women over unnecessary procedures
  • Lawsuits build against Aetna's spine surgery coverage
  • Leave spinal fusions to the surgeons, spine societies warn
  • Walmart's latest partnership pushes retailer into spine care
  • Texas spine surgeon's $11M verdict being appealed
  • 10 power players in orthopedics
  • Outpatient orthopedic hospital to close, lay off staff
  • Rothman Orthopaedics to become national brand, but no 'aspirations to go beyond US'
  • Sports medicine physician fired amid misconduct allegations involving patients
  • Orthopedic surgeon allegedly exaggerated patient visits to defraud insurers
  • 6 reasons neuro, spine surgeons should be the only specialists to perform spinal fusion
  • Orthopedic surgeon, wife get 5 years in prison for tax crimes