8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — May 12, 2016


Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for May 12, 2016.

AANS appoints Dr. Frederick Boop president
Frederick A. Boop, MD, will serve as the American Association of Neurological Surgeons' new president. He is the JT Robertson professor and neurosurgery department chair at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.


Bundled payments to account for 30%-45% of spine reimbursement in 3 years
Providers who are early adopters of bundled payments can increase patient volumes from payers, according to a Spine study. Organizations cite new patient volume, increased surgical yield and financial benefits from efficiency improvements as reasons for adopting bundled payments.


Senate Finance Committee attacks PODs in new report
The report said PODs "present an inherent conflict of interest that can put the physician's medical judgment at odds with the patient's best interests." HHS OIG reports and the Senate Finance Committee analyses suggest POD physicians overutilize spinal implants.


Age does not impact lumbar fusion patient-rated outcomes
Researchers analyzed age's impact on patient-rated outcome and complication rates associated with lumbar fusion, according to a Spine study. Researchers concluded geriatric age is not necessarily a contraindication for lumbar fusion. But, surgeons should use caution when choosing whether to perform spinal fusions on geriatric patients.


Spine surgery interventions should address mental health to reduce readmissions
Owoicho Adogwa, MD, presented research at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting examining how baseline affective disorders affected 30-day readmission rates for patients undergoing elective spine surgery. The readmission rate was three-fold greater for patients with psychiatric comorbidities compared with the other patients.


29% of orthopedic surgeons participate in ACOs
Orthopedic surgeon participation in accountable care organizations is up slightly from 2015, while participation in other payment models is down, according to the Medscape Orthopedist Compensation Report 2016. Three percent of orthopedists practice in cash-only practices, as compared to 4 percent last year. Only 1 percent practice in concierge practices versus 3 percent in 2015.


SpineGuard to launch PediGuard next week
Paris-based SpineGuard will commercially launch its PediGuard Threaded device next week. The device allows surgeons to enhance screw insertion, positioning and anchorage into vertebra, and is designed to enhance placement accuracy, decrease X-ray exposure and limit OR time.


Most physician practices employ 1 to 5 advanced practitioners
Most physician practices employ between one and five advanced practitioners (PAs or NPs), according to the 2016 Staff Salary Survey by Physician's Practice. The majority (42.5 percent) employ one PA or NP.


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