Dr. Kube was featured in Becker’s Spine Review in a feature titled, “Ask Spine Surgeons.” It is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. Dr. Kube discusses how the economic downturn has impacted his practice over the past few years.
Dr. Kube’s response: We opened our door at Prairie Spine & Pain Institute February 9, 2009. That was a few months after the bottom fell out of the market. That obviously was not the best time to open a solo spine practice but plans were too far along to change course. Since then I have a few observations regarding patient flow. First, is that there was an initial reluctance for folks to have elective surgery. They were worried about cost and they were worried about being off work and potentially losing their jobs. That sentiment has continued to some degree to the present time although those feelings are not as strong as in the past. Also we are seeing folks that just can’t postpone surgery any longer, and they are electing to proceed. With that has come a volume of patients researching minimally invasive spine surgery and looking for less invasive approaches to help them get back and recover sooner. I believe our marketing niche of less invasive, quicker recovery and superior outcomes has lead large numbers of patients to us because the hard economic landscape has forced patients to be consumers and take a larger role in the process. We are and have been growing at a steady pace since we opened our doors about 3 years ago, and have almost doubled our new patient volume annually since we opened to where we now see about 100 new patients a month for a solo spine practice.