Meeting Financial & Regulatory Demands of Healthcare Reform: 3 Spine Experts Discuss

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Three experts discuss how spine surgeons and practices are meeting the financial and regulatory demands of healthcare reform.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 is your biggest concern for young spine surgeons headed into their practice over the next five years?

Please send responses to Laura Miller at lmiller@beckershealthcare.com by Thursday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. CST.


Q: How can spine surgeons meet the growing financial demands on their practices by healthcare reform legislation and regulations?


Dr. Jeffrey Wang on healthcare reformJeffrey Wang, MD, UCLA Spine Center:
The biggest thing one can do is to try to understand what is coming and prepare by learning and integrating this into your practice. Complaining about it and trying to resist will only add to your frustration. The education I have received that has allowed me to understand the changes that are coming has been invaluable.

Hooman Melamed, MD, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, Marina Del Rey (Calif.) Hospital:
It has become increasing difficult. Reimbursement is continuously decreasing. One must be very vigilant about billing and collections to make sure thatDr. Hooman Melamed on healthcare reform every penny is accounted for and collected as billed.

Trent J. Northcutt, CEO, Aurora Spine:
The doctor will need to be more efficient in the OR and in clinic. The surgeon will need to operate more to make up for money lost with shrinking reimbursements and insurance approvals.

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