Dr. Kube is one of eight spine surgeons around the country featured in Becker’s Spine Review for the weekly column Ask Spine Surgeons. This week the spine surgeons discuss their strategies to tackle dropping reimbursements with contract negotiations, cost cutting measures and increasing patient volume. The doctors have seen reimbursements drop over the past few years, and will likely continue to experience downward pressure in the future. Medicare recently announced a 2 percent reimbursement reduction as part of sequestration spending cuts as well.
One of the strategies Dr. Kube supports is to save money on each case by cutting costs for supplies and implants. The commodity implant can be used for a variety of cases, such as one-level lumbar fusion, basic rotator cuff repair or a basic suture anchor. For example, the commodity implant for a one-level lumbar fusion costs $2,500-$3,000, compared with $14,000-$15,000 for full invoice price for the premium version for a savings of $12,000 on one case. Even with typical hospital and provider discounts, the surgeon can still save $5,000-$7,000 per case.
“A spine surgeon who uses commodity implants for most of his surgeries could realize a half-million dollars in savings a year,” says Richard A. Kube, MD, CEO of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute in Peoria, Ill. “However, make sure the implant is able to provide the same quality of care.”
To read the article in its entirety and all eight strategies, click here.