The 1 issue that affects all businesses and Americans 

Thomas Scully, MD, serves as a neurosurgeon at Tucson, Ariz.-based Northwest NeuroSpecialists. 

Dr. Scully will serve on the panel "What Surgeons Need to Thrive With Value-Driven Care" 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. Thomas Scully: I am wearing a few hats currently. Besides an active, thriving private practice, I am chairman of surgery at my hospital and medical director for our ASC. Thus, the issues I deal with daily are varied. In my practice, we continually strive to provide timely, quality care in an environment made more difficult each day by prior authorizations, many of which interfere with the services patients need. In addition, inflation affects our practice as it impacts all businesses and Americans. Unfortunately, we exist in an income-fixed environment, or income declining as the case may be. We are at the mercy of Medicare and a few large insurance companies regarding our reimbursement.

As chair of surgery, our hospital faces the 2022 post-COVID-19 world, which is quite different from 2019. The overarching issue is the lack of staff. This impacts our ability to do surgery, recover the patient and take care of them when hospitalized. As a corollary, we are attempting to upgrade big-ticket surgical adjunctive equipment, which is a major capital expense. These are tough juggling acts for hospitals.  

As medical director of our ASC, I have very few headaches! However, our center is blessed with an incredible nurse that is our administrator. She stamps out many fires and saves me on a weekly basis.  

Q: What are you most excited about right now?  

TS: I am excited to see the future. Many are seeing a bleak time ahead. But, we have a daughter as an ICU nurse, and our son is in medical school. Knowing their dedication and work ethic allows me to see the future in their generation's hands in a better light!

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