A recent study done by a team at the Rothman Institute at Jefferson found that patients being treated for lumbar stenosis and spondylolisthesis with epidural steroid injections (ESI) had worse physical health and greater bodily pain than those who did not receive ESI. These patients also had a higher rate of crossover into surgery.
These findings came as a surprise, as the researchers had hypothesized that ESI patients would have better physical outcomes and lower surgery rates due to the provision of early conservative therapy.
Poorer pain scores outcomes found in patients receiving epidural steroid injections
While at the North American Spine Society (NASS) annual sessions in Chicago, reactions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are still vigorous. The keynote address by outgoing president Dr. Przybylski, along with presidential guest speaker Karl Rove, were noticeably different in tone from last year’s presentation on the same topic. It’s clear from these conversations and others that the spine community feels especially sensitive about the implications of PPACA and how it will affect the care they deliver. Payment cuts and increased regulation are major sources of the community’s wariness, but underlying everything is the question of how to value spine care.
A perennial topic, value in spine care was discussed last year as well, but in 2011, the mechanics of actually measuring quality took a more prominent role. To that end, several sessions were focused on defining and delivering value in spine care.
NASS 2011: Defining (and measuring) quality in spine surgery
Here in Chicago, the North American Spine Society (NASS) is holding its annual scientific sessions. The Pipeline will be here the remainder of the week, reporting live on the latest issues facing the spine care community.
Things are just getting started, but it's already clear that several issues will become front and center throughout the week: Health care reform, quality, controversies in spine, and the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery will show up during keynote sessions, instructional courses, paper presentations, vendor displays, and countless conversations among the attendees. Throughout the week we will aim to investigate each of these important areas to provide the latest findings and major takeaways.
NASS 2011: Bringing you the latest in spine care