More spine procedures could be performed outpatient, study shows

A study, published in Clinical Spine Surgery, examined the eligibility of surgical patients meeting outpatient surgery criteria in a single-surgeon private practice.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. In 2014, CMS released its 2015 payment rules and codes for spinal decompression and fusion, confirming spine surgery is safe when performed in ambulatory surgery centers.

2. Researchers reviewed the CMS database between 2008 and 2014, identifying 1,625 orthopedic spine procedures. Nonsurgical spine procedures were excluded from the study.

3. Eligibility for spine surgery was predetermined based on operation standards and the surgeon’s experience. Cohort groups were separated between hospital patients and ASC patients.

4. During the duration of the study, 708 patients underwent spinal surgery. Of the patients, 557 were eligible for outpatient spine surgery while 210 patients underwent surgery at a hospital.

5. To confirm hospital procedures were eligible to be performed at an outpatient center, several tests were conducted. Researchers discovered these patients can indeed undergo surgery at ASCs.

“Outpatient spine surgery is feasible in 79 percent of patients in this single-surgeon private practice,” study authors concluded. “On the basis of these results, a majority of spine procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting following out eligibility criteria.”

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