23-hour observation stays impacting ASC spine surgery rates; Inspired Spine acquires Titan Brain and Spine Institute & more — 7 outpatient spine stories


Here are seven key stories on outpatient spine trends and news.

Inspired Spine acquires Titan Brain and Spine Institute
Alexandria, Minn.-based Inspired Spine acquired Titan Brain and Spine Institute, also based in Alexandria, Minn. TBSI is now an Inspired Spine Center and serves as a training center for Inspired Spine's advanced minimally invasive procedures. Inspired Spine Centers offer diagnostic testing, non-surgical therapies and unique minimally invasive outpatient techniques, along with traditional treatments for chronic neck and back pain.


How 23-hour observation stays impact spine surgery rates at ASCs
A study found spine surgeons perform more spine procedures at ASCs with 23-hour observation stays. Many spine surgeons opt to perform spine surgeries at medical centers to allow for prolonged monitoring. If states allowed for 23-hour stays, they had between two and seven times greater rates for spine surgery compared to ASCs lacking this ability.


Health Alliance Plan of Michigan to cover Paradigm Spine's lumbar spinal stenosis device
Paradigm Spine announced it reached an agreement with the Health Alliance Plan of Michigan to cover the coflex Interlaminar Stabilization device. Through the agreement, 500,000 Michigan residents will have access to the coflex Interlaminar Stabilization device. Coflex is a nonfusion, motion-preserving, FDA PMA-approved lumbar spinal stenosis treatment.


Opportunities in outpatient spine from Dr. Frank Phillips
Frank Phillips, MD, co-founder of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute at Rush in Chicago, lists big opportunities in spine. Among them were improving spinal diagnostics to facilitate more accurate patient and procedure selection as we evolve towards precision medicine as well as developing perioperative pain management strategies to facilitate ASC surgery.


Aetna's new spinal laminotomy/laminectomy policy updates modifier -59 instructions
Aetna issued a coverage policy update for laminotomy with arthrodesis procedures and continues to consider additional edits for upcoming policy revision, according to a letter from North American Spine Society President F. Todd Wetzel, MD. Aetna's new policy states: "We'll no longer allow modifier – 59 to override the incidental denial of codes 63030, 63042, 63047 or 63048 when billed in conjunction with code 22632."


Renew Spinal Care, SpineMark enter strategic alliance
Houston-based Renew Spinal Care and SpineMark Corp. entered a strategic alliance agreement. The two companies will foster a mutually aligned mission of improving patient diagnosing, integrating minimally invasive spine surgery protocol and merging medical technology. SpineMark strives to establish a universal standard for early intervention of spinal pain.


Utah's Public Employees Health Plan approves coverage for SI-Bone's iFuse
Utah's Public Employees Health Plan issued a positive coverage policy for SI joint fusions using SI-Bone's iFuse Implant System. The policy specifies coverage for minimally invasive SI joint fusions using iFuse with prior authorization for current procedure terminology code 27279.


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