Patient selection, Medicare reimbursement & more — 7 insights on spine surgery in ASCs

Here are seven essential insights on spine surgery performed in the outpatient setting:

1. ASCs hand out fewer narcotics after ACDF than hospital surgery centers, study finds
Around 90 percent of patients who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at an ASC consumed less than or equal to the 30th percentile of oral morphine equivalents, compared to 57 percent of hospital patients. Additionally, hospital patients consumed greater average doses of fentanyl and oxycodone.

2. Spine surgery continues to transition to outpatient setting — Dr. Christopher Summa answers three questions
Christopher Summa, MD, is a spine surgeon at Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Sutter Health. An experienced surgeon, Dr. Summa what he's excited about in spine surgery and its transition to the outpatient setting.

3. 100 percent of military patients return to duty after MIS at an ASC, study finds
A study published in Military Medicine examined the return-to-duty rates for military patients who underwent minimally invasive spine surgery in an ASC. All of the participants returned to duty three months postoperatively. Patients experienced a significant reduction in self-reported pain and disability 12 months postoperatively.

4. Does patient selection help lower outpatient spine surgery costs?
As more spine surgeries transition to the outpatient setting, surgeons and researchers continue to study the cost differences between inpatient and outpatient procedures. After examining the national administrative data, researchers found more modest cost savings for outpatient spine surgery over inpatient spine surgery.

5. Outpatient surgery centers safe for single-level cervical total disc replacement
A study published in Spine investigated the adverse event profile of cervical total disc replacements performed in the outpatient versus inpatient setting. Study authors found no difference in perioperative complications between the inpatient and outpatient CTDRs.

6. Outpatient spine surgery safety in ASCs from Neurosurgery analysis
Research published in Neurosurgery found outpatient spine procedures are just as safe as — or safer than — procedures performed in an inpatient setting.

7. What CMS pays for six orthopedic and spine procedures for ASCs vs. HOPDs
CMS released a new tool allowing patients to compare the average payment of select orthopedic and spine procedures in hospital outpatient departments and ASCs.

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