The next frontier in spine: The 4 areas Dr. James Chappuis will expand next year

Laura Dyrda -   Print  | Email

James Chappuis, MD, founder of SpineCenterAtlanta, outlines his strategy to remain on the forefront of the spine field in 2020 and beyond.

Question: If 2020 is a successful year for you, what will it look like?

Dr. James Chappuis: It would show the exponential growth of our revision spine practice along with the continued development of our endoscopic and minimally invasive practice. This year, we opened our telemedicine practice and look forward to continuing to expand this locally, regionally, and nationally. Due to the nature of health insurance today, I think our number of patients who are underinsured or uninsured will grow and we will be seeing more patients who are outside of insurance systems. Lastly, we are working on a membership program to hopefully have in place by the third quarter of next year.

Q: Where will you focus most of your time and energy next year?

JC: The main focus will be on the expansion of our revision spine practice. With Dr. Brian Adams, our interventional spine physician, our regenerative anti-aging approach to spine care with the use of stem cell treatments for back and neck pain will grow. Our endoscopic practice will also progress as these procedures are and will be the next frontier in advancing spine surgery. Additionally, a good deal of our focus next year will be on outcome data. Since hospitals are now required to be transparent, we want patients to have the option to compare our outcomes with those of hospitals. It is extremely important to me for patients to have that transparency.

Q: What do you consider the biggest potential threat to your spine practice?

JC: The biggest potential threat to us is the same threat posed to physicians and surgeons in general, which is our lack of collaboration with each other. This issue has occurred over the years to the point where the insurance industry now controls us simply because we were not able to collaborate. Going forward, if we want to thrive, my colleagues and I have got to figure out how to work together in a collegial manner.

Q: What do you plan to start doing next year, and what will you stop doing?

JC: Thanks to the addition of Dr. James Malcolm in January 2020, we will increase our revision practice to include addressing deformities. Secondly, our interventional spine practice will continue to grow with Dr. Brian Adams to where we will be conducting more percutaneous procedures such as minimally invasive SI joint fusions, basivertebral nerve ablation, and neuro modulation to include spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation. Lastly, we want to expand and continue to develop our endoscopic practice with not only the lumbar procedures we currently offer but also cervical. In regards to the second part of your question, we will drastically reduce the amount of opioids in an effort to be proactive in combating the ongoing opioid epidemic.

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