8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — Jan. 18, 2018

Megan Wood -   Print  |

Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for Jan. 18, 2018.

Orthopedic spine surgeon vs. neurosurgeon salary – Does location matter?
While both specialties require extensive training, there are various differences between orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons. In 2011, the median salary for neurosurgeons reached $470,600 while orthopedic spine surgeons received roughly $409,500, Salary.com reported. In Los Angeles, an average neurosurgeon's salary is nearly $524,000 as opposed to New York City where the medial salary is $556,000. Orthopedic spine surgeons in Los Angeles earn $456,000 a year while in New York City surgeons make $484,000, according to Salary.com.

Former hospital owner receives 5-year prison sentence for paying spine surgery kickbacks
Former Long Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Hospital owner Michael D. Drobot, was found guilty of healthcare fraud, as reported by the United States Attorney's Office Central District of California. As owner of Pacific Hospital, Mr. Drobot concocted a plan to pay physicians illegal kickbacks to refer workers' compensation patients to the hospital for spine surgeries. The Department of Justice report noted Mr. Drobot offered a $15,000 kickback for a lumbar fusion surgery and a $10,000 kickback for a cervical fusion surgery, and bribed physicians to perform spine surgery at his hospital. Read more about the case, here.

Dr. Tom Price to advise Jackson Healthcare on board
Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, will now hereon Jackson Healthcare's advisory board. Jackson Healthcare, an Atlanta-based, $1 billion company, encompasses healthcare staffing, search and technology services. Throughout his career, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Price served as managing partner of Atlanta-area Chattahoochee Associates and was a founder of Atlanta-based Resurgens Orthopedics. He was also a Georgia state senator, U.S. House of Representatives member and former HHS secretary.

Life Spine reports 493% 2017 revenue increase for ProLift Expandable Spacer System
Life Spine saw a 493 percent boost in revenues from its ProLift Expandable Spacer System in 2017 compared to 2016. The company's core solutions include ProLift, TiBOW and LONGBOW, all designed to enhance surgical efficiency and patient outcomes.

US Senate Finance Committee approves Alex Azar's nomination for HHS secretary
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved Alex Azar's nomination to become the new HHS secretary, Medscape reports. The committee approved his nomination with a 15 to 12 vote. The Senate is expected to confirm Mr. Azar's appointment, despite many Democrats voting against him. Mr. Azar requires 51 votes for confirmation, and Republicans have a 51 to 49 majority.

Aetna investor sues over $77B merger with CVS Health
Aetna shareholders will be shortchanged if the company moves forward with a proposed $77 billion merger with CVS Health, according to a lawsuit filed by an Aetna investor on Jan. 16. The lawsuit alleges Aetna tried to convince its shareholders to vote in favor of the CVS Health transaction by filing a form containing "materially incomplete and misleading" information with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 4. Read more, here.

Major breakthroughs in spinal biologics, disc regeneration on the horizon: Thoughts from Dr. William Watters
Former North American Spine Society President William Watters, MD, of Houston Medical, herethe biggest spine technology, clinical and business trends for 2018. He touches on spinal biologics, disc regeneration and falling reimbursements.

90-day posterior lumbar fusion payments: 74.2% to 77% go to hospitals
A new study published in Spine examines the 90-day reimbursements for primary single-level posterior lumbar fusion. Hospital costs accounted for 74.2 percent to 77 percent of the total payments for single-level posterior lumbar fusions. Surgeons' fees accounted for 12.8 percent to 13.7 percent. Inpatient surgery facility costs were significantly higher than outpatient surgery facility costs. Read more from the study, here


More articles on spine:
5 trends on 10-year outcomes for spinal fusion
Former hospital owner receives 5-year prison sentence for paying spine surgery kickbacks — 5 things to know
Dr. Jim Maxwell seeks New York Congress seat: 5 highlights

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