Implementing minimally invasive technologies, enhancing the patient experience and weighing whether to scale back Medicare consults are among the biggest priorities for spine practices next year.
Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. Becker's invites all spine surgeon and specialist responses.
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Editor's note: The following responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.
Question: What are your practice's top priorities in 2022?
Roy Vingan, MD. New Jersey Brain and Spine (Oradell): New Jersey Brain and Spine is focused on introducing the latest available, value-added technologies. The use of minimal-access technologies continues to be at the core of our approach in treating all patients as long as the technology affords the patient benefits regarding reducing surgical risks while enhancing successful outcomes.
Brian Gantwerker, MD. The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: We will need to make some hard choices, and there may be a need to scale back our Medicare consults. This really hurts me deeply because our Medicare patients truly come with some of the worst pathology and need the most help. But difficult financial decisions will likely need to be made. I think more than a few surgeons will be dropping Medicare altogether, worsening our precious seniors' access to care.
Noam Stadlan, MD. NorthShore Neurological Institute and NorthShore Spine Center (Evanston and Skokie, Ill.): The top priority for 2022 for the NorthShore Spine Center continues to be our commitment to providing excellent and optimal patient care. In addition, we are focusing on the patient experience, providing care that is not only compassionate and caring but also recognized as such. To achieve that recognition, we look closely at survey results and loyalty scores to help us identify areas of opportunity.