March 1, 2012

Over the past 15 years, the number of spinal fusion surgeries has drastically increased, but unfortunately, the rate of success hasn’t been commensurate with that growth. As payers focus more on outcomes and cost management, surgeons will increasingly need to demonstrate the value of performing these complex procedures. One aspect of this is the need for surgeons to improve diagnostic precision in assessing who can and cannot benefit from surgical intervention.

In Improving Diagnostic Precision for Spinal Surgery in a Cost-Constrained Environment, published in Becker’s Spine & Ortho Review on March 30, 2012, NAI President Rita E. Numerof, Ph.D. and Consultant Stephen Rothenberg, J.D. provide an overview of the situation, and make the case for a value-based approach to treating spinal disorders. The discussion was adapted from the authors’ contributed chapter [Developing Value-Based Guidelines for the Treatment of Spinal Disorders] in the just-published book, Defining the Value of Spine Care.