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May 2020 Issue of Becker's Spine Review

ON THE COVER

Transformational change: 4 predictions on how COVID-19 will affect spine and healthcare
Across the nation, non-essential businesses have closed or transitioned to remote work while hospitals and surgical centers have canceled elective procedures to avoid further spreading the coronavirus and devote resources to treating COVID-19 patients.

The future of spinal biologics, regeneration and MIS treatment: Q&A with Dr. Roger Härtl
Roger Härtl, MD, has devoted much of his career to finding the best, least invasive treatment for back and neck pain. That mission has led him to research and innovate in the field of spinal biologics.

Florida orthopedic practices combine, become 150-provider supergroup: 5 things to know 
Two large orthopedic practices in Florida have merged into a supergroup, becoming the biggest orthopedic group in Florida.

Post-coronavirus outlook for 4 major companies in orthopedics — Stryker, Medtronic & more 
The medical technology giants are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic including giants in the orthopedic space such as Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Medtronic and Zimmer Biomet.

Centinel Spine founder leaves to grow other business; Steven Murray named CEO
Centinel Spine has a new CEO in Steven Murray, who joined the company March 16.

COVID-19-related losses cause postponement of new facility
Amherst, N.Y.-based Excelsior Orthopaedics is rethinking its business strategy and postponing plans for a new facility over projected financial losses related to COVID-19, Buffalo Business First reports.

Mizzou Biojoint Center faces 11 lawsuits involving 17 ex-patients: A timeline of events
Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care's Mizzou BioJoint Center is facing at least 11 medical malpractice lawsuits as former patients allege the procedures they received at the facility failed.

Why endoscopic spine surgery is more popular overseas than in the US: 3 spine surgeons discuss
Over the past two decades, endoscopic spine surgery has steadily increased in popularity as minimally invasive techniques continue to evolve. However, the approach is more widely adopted among surgeons in Europe and Asia.

SPINE SURGEONS

Mizzou Biojoint Center faces 11 lawsuits involving 17 ex-patients: A timeline of events
Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care's Mizzou BioJoint Center is facing at least 11 medical malpractice lawsuits as former patients allege the procedures they received at the facility failed.

Dr. Frank Schwab becomes vice chair of HSS Innovation Institute: 4 details
New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery named spine surgeon Frank Schwab, MD, vice chair of the HSS Innovation Institute.

How Penn Medicine's spine access center is streamlining patient referrals through its EMR system
In 2018, with increasing and burdensome workloads for referring and primary care providers, the neuroscience service line at Penn Medicine sought a more unified approach to treating patients with spine needs.

$816K+ awarded to North Carolina patient left with permanent spinal cord damage after surgery
A 67-year-old man was recently awarded $816,988 after he was left with permanent damage to his spinal cord after a 2014 spine surgery at Ashe County Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, N.C.

Why endoscopic spine surgery is more popular overseas than in the US: 3 spine surgeons discuss
Over the past two decades, endoscopic spine surgery has steadily increased in popularity as minimally invasive techniques continue to evolve. However, the approach is more widely adopted among surgeons in Europe and Asia.

BIOLOGICS

The future of spinal biologics, regeneration and MIS treatment: Q&A with Dr. Roger Härtl
Roger Härtl, MD, has devoted much of his career to finding the best, least invasive treatment for back and neck pain. That mission has led him to research and innovate in the field of spinal biologics.

Stem cells may achieve 'breakthrough' in spine, but researchers must do due diligence, says Dr. Steven Cyr
Steven Cyr, MD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon who recently began providing stem cell treatments at SASpine in San Antonio.

Transformational change: 4 predictions on how COVID-19 will affect spine and healthcare
Across the nation, non-essential businesses have closed or transitioned to remote work while hospitals and surgical centers have canceled elective procedures to avoid further spreading the coronavirus and devote resources to treating COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Frank Phillips: Key trends in spinal biologics and regeneration
Frank Phillips, MD, is the director of the section of minimally invasive spine surgery and director of the division of spine surgery at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center.

DEVICES & IMPLANTS

Post-coronavirus outlook for 4 major companies in orthopedics — Stryker, Medtronic & more
The medical technology giants are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic including giants in the orthopedic space such as Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Medtronic and Zimmer Biomet.

$2.5B in sales projected for Novartis' spinal muscular atrophy drug by 2025
Zolgensma, Novartis' gene therapy drug for spinal muscular atrophy, recently demonstrated significant therapeutic benefits for patients in various extended clinical trials, reports Pharmaceutical Technology.

Smith+Nephew CEO focusing on orthopedic ASC market: 11 things to know about Roland Diggelmann
Smith+Nephew CEO Roland Diggelmann is approaching his sixth month as head of the medical device company and turning his attention to the growing orthopedic ASC market this year.

DOJ alleges SpineFrontier bribed spine surgeons to use devices in $8M kickback scheme
The Department of Justice intervened in two whistleblower cases alleging that SpineFrontier illegally paid over $8 million in kickbacks to spine surgeons from October 2013 through December 2018.

Aetna illegally refused to pay $75,200 for emergency spine procedure, practice alleges
San Jose Neurospine is battling Aetna Health California in court, alleging that the insurer illegally refused to pay for emergency medical services performed by spine surgeon Adebukola Onibokun, MD, the practice's owner.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Kansas hospital specializing in spine surgery closes, 100+ healthcare workers to be laid off
A private Kansas hospital specializing in spinal fusion procedures recently closed its doors and terminated all employees, KCUR reports.

Florida orthopedic practices combine, become 150-provider supergroup: 5 things to know
Two large orthopedic practices in Florida have merged into a supergroup, becoming the biggest orthopedic group in Florida.

$209M Sanford expansion to add orthopedic hospital, 2 clinics
Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health outlined plans March 3 to build an orthopedic hospital and two clinics as part of a $209.5 million expansion over the next three years, reports the Argus Leader.

Washington hospital lays off 2 orthopedic surgeons ahead of bankruptcy filing — 6 details
Yakima, Wash.-based Astria Health has reportedly laid off multiple specialists — including two orthopedic surgeons — and closed several clinics as it prepares to file for bankruptcy, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

5 orthopedic expansion projects costing $200M+
Since Jan. 1, Becker's Spine Review has covered five expansion projects that cost at least $200 million and expand orthopedic services:

OUTPATIENT SURGERY

USPI allegedly devalued company, shortchanged employee stockholders in merger with Tenet
A former USPI Holding Co. executive is suing the company, alleging it shorted a select number of workers' stock payouts by undervaluing the company after its merger with Tenet, Law360 reports.

Nonsurgical procedures, mediocre care & COVID-19: 3 spine surgeons on the biggest threat to their practice
Three spine surgeons provide their insight on the biggest potential threats to their practice. Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses.

Life after COVID-19 — What the pandemic + an impending recession could mean for ASCs
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the world more "infection-conscious," which could accelerate ASC migration down the line, according to Atlas Surgical Group CEO Shakeel Ahmed, MD.

Physicians may no longer need a new license to cross state lines
Physicians and other medical professionals will no longer need a new license to care for patients across state lines, according to a statement made by Vice President Mike Pence during a White House press briefing on March 18.

MedPAC's report to Congress: Number of ASCs up 2.6% in 2018
MedPAC released its 2020 report, including recommendations to maintain beneficiary access to ASC services and requiring ASCs, keeping providers under financial pressure to constrain costs and require centers to submit cost data.

HEALTHCARE NEWS

Elective, outpatient surgery begin to return — insights for spine surgeons
Elective and outpatient surgeries are beginning to return in some communities, which will allow spine and orthopedic surgeons to resume care for their patients most in need.

$4.7M SBA loan given to Conformis to mitigate economic impact of COVID-19
Orthopedic implant manufacturer Conformis recently received a $4.7 million loan through the Small Business Association to help maintain liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

$838M neuroscience facility at Connecticut hospital gains unanimous approval
Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital's plans to build a neuroscience medical research and treatment facility received unanimous approval from the City Plan Commission on April 15, the New Haven Independent reports.

Kansas hospital abruptly closes, blames physicians for financial troubles
Sumner Community Hospital in Wellington, Kan., closed March 12 without providing notice to employees or the local community, according to the Wichita Business Journal.

A look back at swine flu: 8 facts about the world's last pandemic in 2009
The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, the first such declaration in 11 years.

 

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