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September 2020 Issue of Becker's Spine Review

ON THE COVER

Consolidation boom expected in spine post-pandemic: 5 surgeons share insights
Five spine surgeons discuss the impact of COVID-19 on consolidation in the spine field.

Smart ideas in spine: 4 surgeons look to the future
Spine and neurosurgeons across the U.S. are facing very different realities than they were a year ago due to the pandemic.

Top 20 hospitals for neurology & neurosurgery, by US News & World Report
Best Hospitals for Neurology & Neurosurgery 2020-21 was published by U.S. News & World Report on July 28, with Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore ranking No. 1 for the second year running.

Dr. James Chappuis sues Emory Healthcare, surgeon alleging defamation: 6 details
An Atlanta-based spine surgeon filed a lawsuit on July 29 against Emory Healthcare and Daniel Refai, MD.

How Texas Back Institute is revamping referral relationships, marketing strategies during the pandemic
Texas Back Institute in Plano has evolved to the economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to revamp its sales and marketing strategies and strengthen referral relationships.

4 surgeons predict the future of spine: Motion preserving technologies, advanced imaging & more
Four spine surgeons outline what technologies they see making the next big breakthrough in the field.

Medtronic to buy Medicrea for 22% above share price: 6 details
Medtronic entered into an agreement to acquire Medicrea, a spine device company that includes artificial intelligence, predictive modeling and patient-specific implant offerings.

NuVasive spine robot faces further delays
During NuVasive's second-quarter earnings call, CEO Chris Barry said the timeline for its Pulse robotic system for spine surgery has been further delayed, according to Seeking Alpha.

12 of the largest orthopedic practices in the US
Orthopedic practices continue to grow, even amid the pandemic. Here are the largest orthopedic practices in the U.S. by the number of physicians and surgeons.

19 most-recruited physician specialties
Healthcare recruiting activity is shifting toward medical specialties, with this category representing 78 percent of Merritt Hawkins' physician search engagements in a year's time.

SPINE SURGEONS

Former spine surgeon accidentally burns down mansion in evidence-destroying venture
Mark Kuper, MD, and wife Melissa Kuper accidentally burned down their $1.6 million Fort Worth, Texas, house when Mrs. Kuper allegedly burned medical records in an attempt to hide evidence of fraudulent medical claims, state prosecutors alleged in an indictment filed against the couple June 17.

6 billionaire doctors in the US have a combined net worth of $25.3B
Six physicians are currently on the Forbes Billionaires list.

$368M+ in undisclosed spine journal industry contributions found in study; researchers want transparency
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are advocating for more transparency from spine journal authors after finding more than $368 million in undisclosed industry contributions in a recent study, according to News-Medical.

Dr. James Chappuis sues Emory Healthcare, surgeon alleging defamation: 6 details
An Atlanta-based spine surgeon filed a lawsuit on July 29 against Emory Healthcare and Daniel Refai, MD.

12 insights on orthopedic surgeon net worth, debt & compensation
Medscape has published its "Physician Debt and Net Worth Report 2020" and "Physician Compensation Report 2020," shedding light on the economic situation for physicians in more than 20 specialties.

DEVICES & IMPLANTS

Acquisitions, leadership changes & more: 6 big moves from Medtronic
Medtronic has made several big moves this year, including leadership changes, acquisitions and robotic investment.

Medtronic to buy Medicrea for 22% above share price: 6 details
Medtronic entered into an agreement to acquire Medicrea, a spine device company that includes artificial intelligence, predictive modeling and patient-specific implant offerings.

Medtronic proposes takeover of medical devicemaker: 3 things to know
Medtronic offered to acquire medical device company Intersect ENT, insiders told Bloomberg.

Medtronic, DePuy Synthes in spine: 5 key comparisons
Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes lead the spine market and continue to make interesting moves to expand their presence in the field.

Where Johnson & Johnson stands with robotics: 3 updates
Johnson & Johnson provided updates on its robotics offerings during a second-quarter earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Spine practices must 'understand and accept our interdependence,' Dr. Jeffrey Cantor says
Jeffrey Cantor, MD, of Cantor Spine Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., outlined the biggest obstacle facing spine providers during COVID-19 and how practices can support each other during this challenging period.

4 spinal cord injury rehab hospitals planned, opened in 2020
Here are four spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospitals opened or announced so far this year:

Spinal approach ranks among most expensive ASC procedures
Total disc arthroplasty using the anterior approach was the 23rd most expensive procedure done in ASCs in 2019, according to a Definitive Healthcare ranking.

Dr. Greg Gullung: Commercial payers' approval process is biggest barrier to spine care
Greg Gullung, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Birmingham-based OrthoAlabama, discusses the biggest barrier for spine providers and how medical practices can help one another push through the COVID-19 crisis.

19-physician orthopedic group begins expansion — 3 things to know
Jackson-based West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic broke ground on a new office building in Paris, Tenn., according to The Paris Post-Intelligencer.

OUTPATIENT SURGERY

19 most-recruited physician specialties
Healthcare recruiting activity is shifting toward medical specialties, with this category representing 78 percent of Merritt Hawkins' physician search engagements in a year's time.

Woman robbed surgery center 5 times for narcotics
Brittney Oliver, 41, allegedly broke into American Fork (Utah) medical surgical center five times in the month of June to steal from the center's narcotics cabinet, the Daily Herald reports.

15 statistics on physician assistant pay in 2020
Here are 15 statistics on PA compensation from the Medscape Physician Assistant Compensation Report 2020.

HEALTHCARE NEWS

COVID-19 patients may not recover sense of taste, smell after other symptoms end
The CDC added a new loss of taste or smell to its list of COVID-19 symptoms at the end of April, and now early data from recovered patients is showing that many may not recover those senses after other symptoms of the disease disappear, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Tenet's net income more than triples in Q2
Tenet Healthcare's revenues declined year over year in the second quarter of 2020, but federal grants made available to help offset lost revenues and expenses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic helped push the Dallas-based company's net income higher.

'I'm fighting a war against COVID-19 and a war against stupidity,' says CMO of Houston hospital
After two hours of sleep a night for four months and seeing a member of his team contract the virus, Joseph Varon, MD, is growing exasperated.

Texas hospital exits $20M Cerner EHR contract
Nacogdoches (Texas) Memorial Hospital terminated a $20 million contract with Cerner this week, opting to instead remain using its current Cerner EHR rather than transitioning to the vendor's Community Works platform.

Trump signs executive order to cement rural telehealth services: 3 things to know
On Aug. 3, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand access to telehealth services in rural communities and make certain services permanent once the COVID-19 public emergency ends.

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