Three outpatient spine experts shared their industry insights with Becker's ASC Review:
1. Anthony Giuffrida, MD, director of interventional spine and sports, Cantor Spine Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:
"The ASC is where medicine is going. The cost of being in the hospital is just too great to sustain. A three-level fusion and a few days in the hospital costs the healthcare system upwards of $70,000 to $100,000. A three-level Intracept procedure will cost $10,000 to $15,000 in the outpatient setting. We're cutting costs in the ASC by over 50 percent. If we can make the process easier and less painful for the patient, and decrease cost, that's a win all around.
There's going to be a huge push for outpatient surgery the next five years, and we're going to see great things from it. The one thing we have to remember is we have to keep safety in mind always. You have to pick the right patients. You can't have everyone go to the ASC."
2. Shariff K. Bishai, DO, orthopedic surgeon, Associated Orthopedists of Detroit:
"We're doing total hips, total knees and one-level spines out of our ASC. Again, the biggest thing is we have an unhealthy population, so if we can find the right patient who is healthy and is able to have a simpler, pretty straightforward joint replacement or even spine surgery or shoulder replacement, those do well.
The problem is when you have unhealthy patients that have comorbid states that prevent them from coming to the center because of a medical problem; those are the ones that I think still need to be treated in the hospital setting. Even in the clinic, we're talking more about smoking cessation, we're talking about obesity and making sure that we're communicating with the primary care physicians. As we get a healthier population, I think more will be driven to the ASC to do what are now routine procedures just as joint replacement and spine surgery."
3. Alexander Taghva, MD, Orange County Neurosurgical Associates in Mission Viejo, Calif.:
"I think further advancements in surgical navigation and robotics are very promising. Newer minimally invasive methods, such as endoscopic surgery and neuromodulation techniques such as spinal cord stimulation will shape the field, especially as we move more traditionally hospital-based surgery to outpatient settings."