Current Issue of Becker's Spine Review

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September 2021 Issue of Becker's Spine Review

ON THE COVER

Best hospitals for neurosurgery, neurology in 2021: US News & World Report
University of California San Francisco Medical Center led U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 rankings for best hospitals for neurosurgery and neurology.

10 technologies spine surgeons are obsessing over
Spine surgery is an innovative medical specialty that has seen significant technological strides in the past decade.

How provider-payer relationships will evolve in spine: 4 surgeons weigh in
New partnership models with aligned goals, an increased push toward orthopedic Centers of Excellence and heightened calls for a single-payer system are among the major trends these four spine surgeons see over the next five years.

Delta variant sparks growing concern for spine surgeons
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike, particularly in regions with higher levels of community transmission and lower vaccination rates, and spine surgeons are worried that elective surgeries in these areas could be affected once again.

These CMS changes would significantly improve spine care: 6 surgeons weigh in
From revamping codes to reversing prior authorization requirements and increasing reimbursement, six spine surgeons discuss CMS changes that would enhance spine care.

$3.5M kickback scheme allegedly involved 3 physicians at Maryland spine group
Three physicians affiliated with Rockville, MD.-based National Spine & Pain Centers have been named as defendants in a $3.5 million kickback scheme that allegedly ordered unnecessary genetic tests for Medicare and Medicaid patients, The Orange County Register reported July 21.

The next game changer in spine: 4 surgeon insights
From telemedicine to augmented reality and the advancement of single-position procedures, the technology that will have the most significant effect on the future of the field is discussed by four spine surgeons.

A breakdown of 7 robots in spine surgery
The Mazor SpineAssist was the first robot approved by the FDA to guide the placement of pedicle screws in 2004.

Insurer sued for allegedly refusing to cover spinal stabilization device
A Florida woman is suing Anthem, alleging that the insurance company didn't cover a spine device that should have been covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, designed to provide protections to as well as setting rules for employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

8 medtech acquisitions of $100 million or more in spine, orthopedics
From SeaSpine's purchase of a highly touted imaging system to a multibillion dollar deal that bolstered Stryker's extremities portfolio, here are eight acquisitions of $100 million or more made in  the last eight months:

SPINE SURGEONS

Best hospitals for neurosurgery, neurology in 2021: US News & World Report
University of California San Francisco Medical Center led U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 rankings for best hospitals for neurosurgery and neurology.

Lumbar disc replacement coverage case against Aetna to move forward
A lawsuit over Aetna Life Insurance's spine surgery coverage that was originally dismissed in 2019 will now go forward, according to a motion granted June 11.

Insurer sued for allegedly refusing to cover spinal stabilization device
A Florida woman is suing Anthem, alleging that the insurance company didn't cover a spine device that should have been covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, designed to provide protections to as well as setting rules for employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

Why Centers of Excellence are becoming more prominent in spine
More healthcare organizations are seeking partnerships with talented spine surgeons to become designated as a Center of Excellence, which takes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to care.

$3.5M kickback scheme allegedly involved 3 physicians at Maryland spine group
Three physicians affiliated with Rockville, MD.-based National Spine & Pain Centers have been named as defendants in a $3.5 million kickback scheme that allegedly ordered unnecessary genetic tests for Medicare and Medicaid patients, The Orange County Register reported July 21.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Do spine robots currently offer more hype than clinical value?
Spine robots have proven effective in assisting surgeons with the placement of pedicle screws, but lag behind the capabilities of robots in other medical specialties such as urology and general surgery.

CMS changes that spine surgeons want to see
Surgeons and specialists are bracing for another challenging year as further Medicare reimbursement cuts are planned, with commercial payers likely to follow suit.

'All instrumentation will be absorbable': 2 surgeons predict the future of spine
From the growth of robotic technology to the increasing role artificial intelligence and machine learning will play in spine, bold predictions about the future of the specialty are shared by two surgeons.

No regrets about dropping bundled payments, Rothman Orthopaedics president says
Although Philadelphia-based Rothman Orthopaedics has eliminated bundled payments, its president, Alexander Vaccaro, MD, PhD, said using them is still worth it for some practices.

CMS, payers among the major obstacles to outpatient spine, Dr. David Essig says
CMS poses a primary obstacle to outpatient spine migration, according to David Essig, MD, of Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

6 numbers making spine surgeons nervous
From fighting CMS policy proposals to challenges with rising COVID-19 cases, spine surgeons have faced multiple hurdles since 2020.

Minimally invasive spine implant market to near $3B by 2027: report
The minimally invasive spinal implants market reached nearly $2 billion in 2020, and it's expected to hit close to $3 billion by 2027, according to iData Research.

Medtronic sees big Q1 growth in spine: 5 notes
Medtronic's cranial and spine technologies division grew 19 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year, and the company's total revenue hit $8 billion.

Physicians likely to seek new contracts as their productivity soars, pay drops: 6 report details
Physicians were more productive in the second quarter of 2021 than in 2020, but pay has declined, according to a new report from KaufmanHall.

63% of Q2 physician practice deals had private equity buyers
Physician practice deals heated up in the first half of the year, with private equity firms driving much of the activity.

DEVICES & IMPLANTS

NuVasive lifts hold on scoliosis rods recalled in 2020
NuVasive has lifted a U.S. voluntary ship hold on its Magec system and made a modified Magec X device available for sale, effective July 15.

Supreme Court denies Medtronic attempt to reverse spine surgeon's $112M royalties win
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 21 rejected Medtronic's bid to overturn an award of more than $112 million in royalties to an Indiana spine surgeon-inventor, Law360 reports.

5 highest-paid CEOs of spine, orthopedic device companies
Here are the highest paid CEOs at publicly traded spine and orthopedic device companies, as reported by AFL-CIO:

7 patent disputes involving orthopedic surgeons, device companies
Becker's has reported on seven patent infringement cases in 2021 that involve orthopedic device companies and/or surgeons:

Bioventus to acquire spine company for $518M
Bioventus has entered an agreement to acquire Misonix for $518 million in a cash-and-stock transaction.

ASC

What ending noncompetes means for ASCs, physicians: 8 notes
President Joe Biden signed an executive order July 9 encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to limit or ban noncompete agreements.

Minnesota surgery center debuts Medtronic spinal cord stimulator
Medtronic's recently approved spinal cord stimulator, Vanta, debuted at Duluth, Minn.-based Lakewalk Surgery Center, according to a July 29 Linkedin post.

Florida surgeon performs area's 1st outpatient awake spinal fusion
The first outpatient awake spinal fusion in Florida's Tampa Bay area was reportedly performed by Samuel Joseph, MD, of Joseph Spine Institute.

Orthopedic surgeon's $9M win against Texas ASC overturned
An orthopedic surgeon’s multimillion-dollar win against a Texas surgery center has been taken back.

Minnesota ASC 1st in state to perform spine surgery with Medtronic robot
Woodbury, Minn.-based Summit Orthopedics' Eagan Surgery Center was reportedly the first ASC in the state to perform spine surgery with the Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic system.

HEALTHCARE NEWS

What makes Minnesota one of the best states to practice
Medscape has frequently ranked Minnesota as one of the best states for physicians to practice in its annual list based on a number of factors. What makes the state an attractive place for healthcare workers?

Orthopedic surgeon pleads guilty to workers’ comp fraud
A Louisiana-based orthopedic surgeon has pleaded guilty to workers compensation fraud, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

HCA New Hampshire hospital loses 12 physicians as interim CEO takes helm
Twelve of 14 primary care physicians on staff have left or are in the process of leaving practices affiliated with Frisbie Memorial Hospital, a 112-bed hospital in Rochester, N.H., according to Foster's Daily Democrat.

Walmart files to provide healthcare in 37 states as it pushes deeper into telehealth
Walmart has filed paperwork to operate its healthcare business in 37 states, Insider reported July 19.

Physician lives at Tennessee hospital to be available around the clock
Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida, Tenn., is one of dozens of rural hospitals across the country struggling to keep its doors open.

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