8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — Oct. 19, 2017

Written by Megan Wood | October 19, 2017 | Print  |

Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for Oct. 19, 2017.

Aetna updates laminotomy/laminectomy payment policy; considers additional edits
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. Read about the updates, here.

Pro Spine Center's Dr. Johnny Benjamin charged with felony opioid trafficking, robbery
Indian River County officials charged 51-year-old orthopedic spine surgeon Johnny Benjamin, MD, with felony fentanyl trafficking, robbery and grand theft, according to TC Palm. Officials received a report from an individual who claimed Dr. Benjamin grabbed the man's cellphone at Vero Beach, Fla.-based Pro Spine Center and proceeded to place the phone in a peanut jar filled with cotton balls. In addition to the two felonies related to the phone, the state's attorney's office also charged Dr. Benjamin with attempting to traffic fentanyl. Read more, here.

Inspired Spine acquires Tristate Brain and Spine Institute, continues finalizing plans to build center with ASC
Minnesota-based Inspired Spine acquired Alexandria, Minn.-based Tristate Brain and Spine Institute, a leading spine and neurosurgery private practice in Minnesota. Inspired Spine Centers offers minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery as well as conservative treatment for patients suffering from back pain.

Inside sources say Apple pursued talks to buy medical clinics
Apple was reportedly in talks to purchase Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Crossover Health, a healthcare startup that works with self-insured employers to provide medical and wellness services at onsite clinics. The move heightens speculation about the tech giant's potential foray into the healthcare space, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.

DePuy Synthes unveils minimally invasive spine system
DePuy Synthes unveiled the Viper Prime spine system at the Eurospine 2017 Congress in Dublin, Ireland. The Viper Prime system is a minimally invasive pedicle screw system designed for fusion procedures. The minimally invasive Viper Prime system reduces the instruments needed for surgery and the number of steps required to insert percutaneous screws.

Mazor Robotics moves forward with new VP of business development
Mazor Robotics appointed Ron A. Tavlin its new vice president of business development to lead efforts in spreading the company's image-based medical robotics. Mr. Tavlin has more than 25 years of experience in public and private companies, serving as a consultant to support Medtronic ventures and corporate development teams.

Newport Hospital opens Comprehensive Spine Center
The Comprehensive Spine Center Newport (R.I.) Hospital opened Oct. 10. The center will provide physiatry, pain medicine and neurosurgery to treat patients' pain.

Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic requests $1.7M expansion
Rutland (Vt.) Regional Medical Center's Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic submitted a $1.7 million proposal to open a new medical office. The proposal outlines a new medical clinic that would house the Vermont Orthopedic Clinic. Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic plans to convert the current clinic for finance and human resources staff. Rutland Regional Medical Center estimates the new clinic will be completed before 2020.

More articles on spine:
NewYork-Presbyterian receives $25M gift and renames The Spine Hospital — 5 highlights
Study: Enabling spinal cord injury sufferers to breath without help
Neurosurgery dominates North American intraoperative neuromonitoring market, growing at 8.3% CAGR through 2022

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