8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — April 5, 2018


Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for April 5, 2018.

Jury finds Laser Spine Institute liable for patient's death; patient's family awarded $20M
A Chester County, Pa., jury found Wayne, Pa.-based Laser Spine Institute and anesthesiologist Glenn Rubenstein, MD, liable for a patient's death following spine surgery, The Legal Intelligencer reports. The prosecutors argued Dr. Rubenstein discharged a patient prematurely with excessive amounts of anesthetic dilaudid in her system. The patient died a few hours after being discharged. Read more about the case, here.

Medtronic continues to push outcome-based contracts
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak is pushing for the device manufacturer to take on more risk-based compensation contracts, The Wall Street Journal reports. Currently, Medtronic is signing contracts with customers to adjust prices based on how well the specific product works rather than having a customer paying a fixed price for a product despite its performance. Read more, here.

Neurosurgeon to plead guilty to concealing bankruptcy assets
Former Billings, Mont.-based neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, MD, plead guilty to a single count of concealing bankruptcy assets March 27, after hiding a bank account containing $309,686 from the U.S. trustee in the case, the Billings Gazette reports. Read more about the case, here

Teen sues Michigan hospital after vicious attack in ER
Recently released surveillance video appears to show a man punching a woman from behind at the emergency room desk at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, Mich., according to CBS News. The footage captured the 19-year-old woman, who wore a dark blue head covering identifying her as a Muslim, talking to a hospital employee at the ER desk on Feb. 10. Less than five seconds after she stepped to the desk, a man approached her from behind and began striking her with his fist, according to The Detroit News.

Blue Cross Blue Shield adopts new opioid standard
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association National Council of Physician and Pharmacist Executives adopted a standard that opioids should not be prescribed as first or second lines of pain therapy in most situations.

NuVasive's Porous PEEK material yields positive results after impaction
A new study published in The Spine Journal  compared NuVasive Porous PEEK material to titanium-coated PEEK devices. The NuVasive Porous PEEK's surface structure kept its high porosity of more than 65 percent, with only minor changes to pore size and depth after impaction.

VA secretary seat says bye to Dr. David Shulkin and hello to Dr. Ronny Jackson
David Shulkin, MD, is no longer the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Medscape reports. President Donald Trump announced the former VA secretary was out March 28 via a series of tweets, in which he also nominated White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, to fill the position.

The volume-value threshold for spinal deformity: How many cases surgeons, hospitals need
A new study published in Spinal Deformity aimed to find the threshold for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery volume to equal value in outcomes and economies of scale. The cost and length of stay had a significant decrease between surgeons who performed zero to five AIS surgeries per year and those who performed more than five procedures annually. Read more about the study, here.

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