Dr. Kris Radcliff: The biggest concerns for value-based spine care

Written by Laura Dyrda | October 17, 2018 | Print  |

Kris Radcliff, MD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon with Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute. His practice focuses on minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc replacement.

Dr. Radcliff was recently named to the inaugural "20 Under 40" list by the North American Spine Society's publication, SpineLine.

Here, Dr. Radcliff discusses the biggest trends in spine for his practice and where he plans to take his career in the future.

Question: What are the biggest concerns for your practice today? What keeps you up at night?

Dr. Kris Radcliff: One of my biggest concerns is the rising cost of spine care and the absence of good literature about the value of spine care. Although I believe that spine surgery has a significant financial and functional value to patients' lives, there is a misperception about the outcomes of spine surgery that we have not yet overcome with research. I am concerned that the preponderance of misinformation available to patients on the internet may result in unfortunate delays in care and poor outcomes of spine care.

Q: What are you most excited about in terms of technology advancement in the spine space? Where do you see the best opportunity for growth?

KR: I believe that improving the sophistication of our clinical outcome measures is the most important technology available to spine surgeons at this time. Legacy measures, such as Oswestry Disability Index and Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, are going to be replaced by validated, computer-adaptive instruments such as Promis Pain or Physical Function. Also, I believe that we will see an increase in non-patient reported outcome measures (such as steps recorded) from wearable technologies and smartphones.

Q: Where do you see your practice growing or evolving in the next five years? What is the next step or evolution in your career?

KR: I continue to work to balance the important needs of family, practice and academic practice. I am increasingly becoming involved in spine societies. I am very interested in the proper education of surgeons and patients about spine care and spine procedures. Eventually, I would like to step into a leadership role of a spine society.

Learn more about the big trends in spine at the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference in Chicago, June 13-15, 2019. Click here

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com.

More articles on spine surgery:
Neurosurgeon opens practice in New York: 5 takeaways
What are spine surgeons most excited about? Dr. Christopher Summa answers 3 Qs
Where will the next innovation come from in spine? Dr. Alpesh Patel says it will be procedural

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