In a session at the 10th Annual Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference in Chicago on June 14, Richard Kube, MD, a spine surgeon and founder of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute; Devin Datta, MD, a spine surgeon with the Crane Creek Surgery Center; and Michael Rimlawi, MD, a spine surgeon with the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute in Dallas, discussed issues related to moving spine procedures to ambulatory surgery centers. Jeff Leland, CEO of Blue Chip Surgical Center Partners, moderated the session.
Dr. Kube offered two tips for moving spine procedures to ASCs:
- Recruit a chief operating officer or business individual to run the business end of the center. It's important that the individual has some knowledge of the trials and tribulations of accreditation and is savvy with building development.
- Recruit a strong medical director.
He said that adding spine capacity without these two key elements would be very difficult.
Dr. Kube also discussed the importance of physicians taking a leadership role in driving ASCs.
"We as physicians are leaders," he said. "The staff will look to your lead."
It's important to ensure the rest of the staff at the ASC understands the center's goal of being a patient-centered business. "You have to make sure everyone who joins shares those same goals. If they don't, they won't fit."
When asked what the most important thing to consider when moving to outpatient spine surgery, Dr. Datta said: "It's not the kind of thing you want to jump in alone. That's probably my number one piece of advice."
Dr. Datta also said ASCs need to consider the challenge posed by hospitals recruiting surgical talent.
"Our problem with recruiting is we are competing with hospitals," he said. "I can tell you with certainty that hospitals can offer more money."
Dr. Rimlawi discussed the transition to outpatient surgery. As a surgeon doing mostly inpatient procedures, he said he kept a log, along with other surgeons, of how many surgeries they could do on an outpatient basis.
"We took our logs and we started looking at them and seeing how many surgeries we could do," he explained.
The goal for the spine and orthopedic surgeons was to consider whether they'd be able to branch out on their own.