The future of private practice and payers in spine: 3 key thoughts

Practice Management

Three orthopedic and spine surgeons participated in a panel titled "The Future of Practice, Bundled Payments, Out-of-Network, Venture Capital, Hospital Partnerships and More" on June 18 as part of the Becker's Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC + the Future of Spine virtual event.

Click here to view the full interview on-demand as well as access several other fireside chats, panels and workshops during the event.

The panelists shared thoughts about the future:

Sigurd Berven, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon at the University of California San Francisco: I don't think this pandemic is over at all. I think we are going to see major bumps of COVID with the protests. I think this pandemic will last until we have an effective vaccine. I think it will be at least through November. We are seeing numbers in the range of 40 million-plus that are unemployed and can't access healthcare. I'm really concerned about those patients who have lost insurance and can't access healthcare. It will introduce the need of universal health insurance and that is the long term effects of that. If there is one take home message of what I would predict in healthcare, this will open up the need for universal healthcare.

Scott Blumenthal, MD. Founder and Medical Director for the Center for Disc Replacement at Texas Back Institute (Plano): I'm very optimistic. I do feel that we will get back to normal quicker. I think we will incorporate telemedicine into our practices. When flu season starts again, some of the social habits such as staying home and washing your hands a lot, and will help mitigate a second season. I don't see the (second wave) being overwhelming.

Thomas Schuler, MD. CEO and Founder of Virginia Spine Institute (Reston): Most people are ready to get back to work but trying to figure out how to do it legally safe. There are a lot of employees for them to work from home ... We have had a decade of innovation in the past two months; I agree there will be a continued push for a single payer, that has been overwhelming.

If we get the Medicare for All system, we will always have Americans that aren't willing to accept that. They want the MRI today, surgery this week; there will be an opportunity for those that provide unparalleled patient service, and surgeons will be able to take advantage of that.

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