Lobbying key to addressing spine care challenges, Dr. Ciro Randazzo says

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The top challenges neurosurgeon Ciro Randazzo, MD, expects in 2022 include reimbursement and hospital pressures.

Dr. Randazzo, of IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics in Union, N.J., discussed these issues and the importance of moving cases to the outpatient setting on the "Becker's Healthcare Spine and Orthopedic Podcast" on May 18.

This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full episode here.

Question: What are the top challenges you're anticipating for 2022? 

Dr. Randazzo: I think our top challenges as a practice at this point are reimbursements and keeping up with inflation in medicine. Physician reimbursement is the only cost that has not increased, and actually decreased over the last several years. So we're going to have to look for ways to be more efficient in our practice, running our practice and in collecting as we're faced with the same inflation that all other businesses are faced with in the United States and throughout the world. 

There's also significant hospital pressures that continue to mount, including a need to justify any implants that we're placing and their cost-effectiveness and relationship to positive outcomes. I feel there's significant pressure from hospitals to continue to do surgeries in the hospital setting. But there is more and more data that shows we should continue to migrate our cases to outpatient facilities such as surgical centers when that is possible. I think we have to look for new and interesting ways to bring more cases to surgical centers. 

Unfortunately, Medicare has limited our ability to do that as well, which makes it even more difficult. We have to continue to lobby the government and Congress to allow us to do more surgeries as outpatients and achieve parity in terms of those payments, which would foster our ability to move those cases. 

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