Bundled payments, adding surgeons & more: 4 spine surgeons on best career decisions of 2016

Spine

Four spine surgeons share the best decisions they made in their professional lives last 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. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses.

 

Next week's question: What advice do you have for young physicians on how to best manage their debt?


 
Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com by Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m. CST.

 

Question: What is the best professional decision you made in 2016?  

 

Richard Kube, MD. Founder and CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): I think it will be jumping into the bundled payment arena. This has many definitions.  What we have done is begin working with the self-insured businesses and third-party administrators representing the larger companies. Having all the necessary services under one roof and controlling cost across the board allows us to be extremely competitive in this area. Having already moved 95 percent of our cases to the ambulatory setting, this was a natural next step.

 

Brian R. Gantwerker, MD. Founder of The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: By far it was concentrating on building referrals made by other patients. Marketing to physicians is important, and I have made great inroads over the years, but by far the highest and best-quality patients have come from other patients. I have patients now flying in from out-of-state to see me. I am very blessed and appreciative.  

 

J. Brian Gill, MD, MBA. Nebraska Spine Hospital (Omaha): The best professional decision that I made this year was to reinvest in myself. I have learned several new techniques, which have allowed me to differentiate myself in the community. Moreover, I can now offer my patients additional treatment options. Patients are becoming more educated on their medical conditions and being able to have an in-depth discussion regarding treatment options allows them to fully participate in the decision-making process. While, these techniques took time to learn outside of regular work hours and there was a learning curve involved, it has been well worth the time spent.  

 

Renato V. Bosita, Jr., MD, MBA. Texas back Institute (Plano): The best professional decision made by our practice at Texas Back Institute in the last year was to continue to expand our practice by adding two neurosurgeons — Kwasi Boah, MD, and Scot Kutz, MD — and another orthopedic spine surgeon — Kevin Ju, MD — to the largest multidisciplinary spine practice in Texas. Amid the uncertainty of an upcoming presidential election, with the specters of Obamacare and MACRA hanging over the spine market, and a staggering number of competitors in a crowded Dallas market, we decided to try and meet the demands of this growing market by adding providers and growing service lines. Such an expansion required a commitment of resources from the partnership, but nonetheless, we remain very bullish about our opportunities and ability to capitalize on them. We remained confident in our market analysis, and more importantly, we remained confident in our core principles of patient care, clinical decision-making and fostering strong relationships with complementary providers.


 
Many of our advisors have said that adding three new surgeons at one time is aggressive and risky, but we feel that the three new surgeons will bring fresh perspectives, energy and enthusiasm to our practice. Incorporating them into the TBI culture will remain a challenge as they make their impact on the group and get busier. Our practice had to make the decision to welcome them into our practice and invest ourselves in the new surgeons to make them not only busy, but also make them feel welcome in our operating rooms, clinics and boardrooms. We have given them a position of prominence in shaping our strategy for continued growth and penetration of new markets. Our new surgeons know that they're important to TBI.  


 
Watching their practices grow in the few months since they started has reminded me of my first few months at TBI when I hardly knew where my office was and I needed a map (in the pre-GPS days) to get to some of my satellite clinics. Over the years some of those satellites have evolved into independent office locations with multiple providers serving large communities. It is my sincere hope that these new surgeons will succeed at Texas Back Institute, and I look forward to continuing to expand our practice and add even more qualified and energetic partners ready to take on more challenges in Dallas!

 

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