8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — June 21, 2018

Written by Megan Wood | June 21, 2018 | Print  |

Here are eight things for spinal surgeons to know for June 21, 2018.

3 surgeons charged in $580M spine surgery kickback scheme
David Hobart Payne, MD, Jeffrey Lokesh Tantuwaya, MD, and Jeffrey David Gross, MD, have been charged with involvement in an alleged $580 million kickback scheme, according to Patch. Investigators allege multiple surgeons took kickbacks and bribes to direct or perform spine surgeriess at Pacific Hospital of Long Beach (Calif.). Read about the case here.

MedPAC recommends changing Stark law to limit physician-owned distributorships
In its most recent report, MedPAC questioned whether any value from physician-owned distributorships was worth the risk of the potential for fraud and conflict of interest for the physicians involved. Stark law, which governs provider self-interest influencing medical decisions, doesn't require the government to prove intent, as the anti-kickback statute does. MedPAC proposed a change. "The goal of any change to the Stark law would not be to ban PODs per se, but rather to prohibit physician self referral involving PODs."

Trial begins for Dr. Atiq Durrani without him
Although former Cincinnati-based spine surgeon Atiq Durrani, MD, fled the country in 2014, the case against him involving more than 500 patients began June 18, according to WLWT5. About 500 patients filed suit against Dr. Durrani for poor outcomes and unnecessary procedures. He is also accused of fraudulently charging Medicare for millions of dollars and was indicted on 46 federal charges associated with clinical and billing issues. Read more about the trial here.

NuVasive's porous PEEK technology for ACDF put to the test in new study
NuVasive's patented porous-surface PEEK technology is designed to enhance osseointegration and interbody implant fusion rates to treat degenerative cervical disc disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Spine and Neurosurgery. Read about the study here.

MD Anderson slapped with $4.3M penalty for HIPAA violations
An HHS administrative law judge upheld an HHS Office for Civil Rights finding requiring the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to pay $4.3 million in civil penalties for HIPAA violations related to the organization's encryption policies, HHS confirmed June 18. Read more here.

TriStar Health begins $123M orthopedics focused expansion
Brentwood, Tenn.-based TriStar Health is expanding its Nashville, Tenn.-based TriStar Centennial Medical Center. The Nashville-based, HCA-owned hospital plans to add four floors and a joint replacement center to TriStar Centennial. The project is valued at $123.7 million and is expected to be completed by early 2019.

7 companies to consider when looking to invest in robotics
The global surgical robotics market is expected to reach $12.6 billion by 2025, according to a BIS Research report. And these companies are worth watching: Intuitive Surgical, TransEnterix, Smith & Nephew, Mazor Robotics, Renishaw, Stryker and Titan Medical.

New study will compare Kuros Biosciences' MagnetOs, autograft for spinal fusion
The University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands will begin a study comparing Kuros Biosciences' MagnetOs with autologous bone in posterolateral spinal fusion. The five-center randomized clinical trial will enroll 100 adult patients who qualify for posterolateral spinal fusion in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral region. The study's primary endpoint is posterior spinal fusion rate after one year based on CT scans.

More articles on spine:
The 2 adverse events spine surgeons consider acceptable after ACDF
Ankylosing spondylitis patients twice as likely to self-harm, study finds
5 things to know about medical malpractice after spine surgery incidental durotomy

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