The biggest challenge in spine? Dr. David Rothbart says it will be demonstrating value


David Rothbart, MD, a spine surgeon with Spine Team Texas in Southlake, discusses the biggest challenges his practice has faced and where he sees the biggest opportunity in the future.

Dr. Rothbart is a featured speaker at the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + The Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, June 13-15 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at

Question: What is the biggest challenge your practice is facing today? How are you overcoming it? How do you see it growing and developing?

Dr. David Rothbart: The transition of volume-based reimbursement to value-based has not significantly impacted spine surgeons in most markets thus far. We must be poised to evolve and be able to demonstrate our value. Building the infrastructure to accomplish this and selecting the right partners will be critical.

Q: What are your top one or two goals for your practice over the next three to five years?

DR: We have multiple opportunities for growth over the next few years. Selecting the right cadence, partners and scale of growth can be a daunting task for physicians. We utilize a combination of strong executive leadership within our organization as well as outside consultants with extensive healthcare expertise in our decision-making process.

Q: What advice do you have for new spine surgeons just entering the field?

DR: Spine surgeons completing their training have just finished an average of 15 years of education, residency and fellowship. This often leads to a thought process programmed in one-year increments. In selecting a practice, one needs to be thinking in three-, five- and 10-year increments. Rather than merely evaluating a potential job on the current performance of the practice, closely explore the growth potential of the practice given the rapidly changing environment. Don’t necessarily jump solely at what appears to be the best offer now. Rather, ask yourself if this opportunity has the potential to grow and thrive over the next decade.

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