10 of the Most Pressing Issues in Spine Surgery for 2013


2013 was a time of change for the spinal industry, especially in regard to reimbursements and regulations.

Here are 10 of the top Becker's Spine Review spine surgery-related stories of the year.

Minimally invasive vs. open fusion. Researchers at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia published a study comparing minimally invasive and open techniques for posterior lumbar instrumentation and fusion, and found MIS to be bring less blood loss and shorter hospital stays. 

CMS lumbar spinal stenosis coverage. CMS announced it would not reimburse for a percutaneous-image guided lumbar decompression for spinal stenosis patients. 

Spinal fusions may not be better with Infuse. Researchers at Yale University and Medtronic conducted an open data access study on Medtronic's Infuse recombinant human bone morphogenic protein and found its results similarly effective to iliac crest bone grafts for spinal fusion. 

Medicare covers Coflex spine device in three states. Medicare decided to cover Paradigm Spine's coflex interlaminar stabilization device in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Orthopedic surgeons' salaries decreased by 10% or more. Medscape released a compensation report in which 39 percent of surveyed orthopedists reported their compensation dropped by 10 or more percent from 2011 to 2012.

Bundled payments for spine surgery. Several industry experts looked at what's on the horizon for bundled spine payments and how providers can prepare.

Best & worst states for physicians to practice. Medscape released a list of the best and worst states for physician practices based on factors such as cost of living, housing markets, physician density, culture and crime.

NASS defends spinal fusions. The North American Spine Society Executive Committee penned a letter to the Washington Post in response to a story about the necessity of spinal fusions.

Robotics in spine surgery. Physicians at the NASS annual meeting discussed whether robotics in spine surgery make sense and are useful for surgeons today. 

Spine CPT code guideline changes. At the end of last year, the American Medical Association announced CPT code changes for 2013 orthopedic procedures, including spine bone grafts, discectomy, arthrodesis and more.

CPT copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

More Articles on Spine:
5 Big Spine Reimbursement Issues Heading Into 2014
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Names Dr. Phillip Storm Neurosurgery Division Chief
Potential in Outpatient Spine Surgery: Q&A With Dr. Randolph Bishop


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