How Dr. Robert Masson plans to win with an independent spine practice model in 2019

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Robert Masson, MD, is founder and medical director of Ocoee, Fla.-based Masson Spine Institute. Throughout his career, Dr. Masson has performed more than 13,000 microsurgical procedures and 2,000 cervical arthroplasties.

Here, Dr. Masson discusses the factors affecting his business heading into 2019 and where he expects the spine field to grow in the future.

Question: What are the three biggest business or healthcare trends you expect to affect your practice in 2019?

Dr. Robert Masson: There is no question that large corporate entities continue to gather momentum, strength, control and payer preferences making small private practices seemingly less competitive. We understand this and understand that our practice model lacks the consolidation strengths to compete in that particular game.

On the other hand, we are extremely nimble, adaptive and responsive; we focus on improving our ability to develop and master the most practical spine surgery solutions. We have a progressive, holistic, rapid recovery-inspired practice model, and all of our surgical procedures must be directed toward achieving success measures for our patients and functional recovery is prioritized at a high standard. We are increasing our opportunity to deliver hope and optimism in the form of long-term strategies, in many cases built around a successful targeted surgical intervention and solution.

The reimbursement decline for complex spine procedures has put a premium on quality of patients and systemwide efficiencies.

We also are increasingly placing our spine surgery patients in our ASC environment with increased penetration and this is probably one of our greatest opportunities moving forward.

In the world of bundled payments, abolition of narcotic overuse (finally) and big data, we have fully enacted pre-habilitation regimens preoperatively to both prepare our patients for rapid surgical mobilization and recovery, and to accentuate and validate not only the need for surgery but the intended surgical diagnostic targets, which we correlate with imaging. The clinical syndrome defines scope of surgery, not the imaging in many cases.

Our success has been centered around our ability to reach our patients with success strategies and increasingly concierge-style spine health messaging while simplifying our practice focus to surgical treatment for complex spine health episodes of care. Our goal is more and more aimed towards optimization of personal functional performance in the face of a spine health crisis and it reflects in our culture, our philosophy, our messaging and ultimately the loyalty and growth of our patient base.

Q: Where do you see the best opportunities to grow?

RM: We have embarked on a broad, multidisciplinary digital media campaign that is intended to maximize our social media communication, identification with patients, messaging with patients and mutual expectations. More and more patients show up for clinical interaction fully indoctrinated in our goals, methods and strategies and with more transparent clarity and expectations for treatment. We are very direct in projecting patient accountability and partnership in their healthcare episodes and as such we are seeing increase in patient performance, compliance and results.

We continue to maximize our extended inpatient and outpatient teams' performance, efficiency, communication, accountability and ultimately, stake with the intent of preserving long-term relationships cross-sectional amongst all aspects of our spine center of excellence, and we celebrate the roles of all of our stakeholders. This perpetual team build simplifies our work effort, work efficiency, and ultimately our relationship with our patient is enhanced through the 360 degrees of care of our delivery system.

Last, we are crystal clear that while our efforts are strong, we remain service providers, and our commitment to increase the value of our service to our customers is ever-present.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at

For a deeper dive into the future of spine, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-5, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on spine surgeons:
3 big difference-makers for spine surgeons in the future
Dr. J. Brian Gill: 3 observations on bundled payments, high deductibles & payer approvals in spine
Dr. Stephen Hochschuler: 3 trends in healthcare to watch + 2 opportunities for growth in spine

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