Ernest Braxton, MD, serves as a board-certified neurosurgeon at Vail, Colo.-based Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery. Dr. Braxton will serve on the panels "Minimally Invasive Complex Spine: Big Trends and Concepts," "Technology Revolutionizing Spine, Orthopedics Today," "Where Artificial Disc Technology is Headed," "What Spine Procedures are Next for ASCs," and "The Next Frontier of Spinal Fusions" at Becker's 19th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference.
As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place in Chicago from June 16-18.
To learn more and register, click here.
Question: What issues are you spending most of your time on today?
Dr. Ernest Braxton: Much of the spine is still poorly understood. I spend most of my time with the diagnosis of my patient's primary pain generator. This often involves reviewing advanced imaging, collecting a detailed history and reviewing diagnostic injections.
Q: What are your top challenges and how will they change over the next 12 months?
EB: Our biggest short-term challenge is overcoming macroeconomic forces that have led to workforce shortages. It is becoming more and more difficult to recruit and retain top talent. There are shortages of operating room staff and nursing care making it difficult to keep our operating rooms running at full capacity.
Q: How are you thinking about investments and growth in the next two years?
EB: We are looking at different models that include capitalization from private equity, population health, and the development of ancillaries to combat decreasing physician reimbursement and increased utilization of healthcare services. I believe our current way of doing things is unsustainable if these trends continue.
Q: What are you most excited about right now?
EB: The movement of patients to the surgery center using less invasive techniques and enabling technology.