Big Threats, Opportunities in Spine, Orthopedics and ASCs


At the 20th Annual Spine, Orthopedic + Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, attendees had the opportunity to learn from a panel of experts on the big threats and opportunities in spine, orthopedics and ASCs. 

The panelists included: 

  • Ernest Braxton, MD, MBA, Neurosurgeon, Vail Summit Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery
  • Thomas Scully, MD, Neurosurgeon, Northwest NeuroSpecialists 
  • Corey Welchlin, DO, Owner, Center for Specialty Care
  • Bus Tarbox, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Columbia Orthopedic Group 

The panel was moderated by Scott Becker, JD, the founder of Becker's Healthcare and a partner at McGuire Woods LLC.

Key Takeaways:

1: Private equity and consolidation are the biggest threats to some medical practices

Bus Tarbox, MD, the president of Columbia Orthopedic Group, believes that private equity and consolidation are the biggest threats to his practice. This can be attributed to how private equity firms are buying up physician practices and hospitals, which can lead to a lack of independence and a decline in quality of care.

2: Insurance companies denying procedures is a major obstacle for doctors

Preauthorizations and denials are a major obstacle as insurance companies use artificial intelligence to deny procedures, creating an arms race between doctors and insurers. This highlights the importance of doctors staying up-to-date with insurance policies and regulations in order to navigate the process successfully.

3: Creating value for patients is the key to providing better healthcare

Dr. Scully, a neurosurgeon, believes that payment reform is not the answer to providing better healthcare. He instead advocates for focusing on creating value for patients by providing good care and experience. This can include improving communication with patients, providing personalized care, and ensuring that patients feel heard and valued during their treatments.

4: Doctors need to adapt to changes in healthcare and work with insurance companies

Dr. Tarbox advises surgeons to work with insurance companies in order to provide better value-based care. He also emphasizes the importance of remaining flexible in order to navigate the changing rules of insurance companies. This highlights the need for continued education and professional development within the medical field.

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