The Pipeline

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NASS 2013: Use internal data tracking to take your spine program to the next level

October 10, 2013

Emily Brown, Technology Insights

Presenters at the first day of the 2013 NASS meeting stressed the importance of data collection in improving spine care, from clinical and functional outcomes to patient satisfaction.

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NASS 2013: Collaborative spine care and triage take front seat

October 10, 2013

Shruti Tiwari, Technology Insights

The Technology Insights team is attending the 28th annual meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS) in New Orleans. The Pipeline will be here across the week, reporting on the latest issues facing the spine care community. Our research team will provide updates on new clinical and technological innovations and highlight key takeaways from the sessions.

A key theme covered on the first day of the NASS conference was the focus on providing collaborative spine care by enfranchising all members of the care team. As we move towards new payment models coming out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), spine providers are starting to focus on demonstrating valuable care by achieving superior outcomes and patient satisfaction.

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Breaking news: Stryker steps into the orthopedic robotic business with landmark acquisition

September 26, 2013

Ashley Ford and Sam Gold, Technology Insights

The orthopedic technology landscape underwent a significant shift yesterday afternoon when the Stryker Corporation announced it will acquire MAKO Surgical Corp. for the price of $1.65 billion. 

Stryker—a global manufacturer of orthopedic and spine implantable devices and MedSurg technologies—appears to be expanding the breadth of its offerings; the MAKO acquisition comes six months after Stryker’s purchase of Trauson Holdings Company Limited, a major Chinese trauma technology manufacturer.

In light of these events, here on the orthopedics research team, we sat down to discuss what this means for the broader orthopedic landscape.

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Three steps to reducing spinal fusion costs

September 9, 2013

Emily Brown, Technology Insights

Results of two independent reviews of Medtronic’s Infuse Bone Graft product are in, and the findings have brought the future of bone morphogenic protein (BMP) into question. 

Read on to learn how to improve spinal fusion outcomes at your institution, both clinically and financially.

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Using orthopedic specialization to improve competitive posture

August 23, 2013

Sam Gold, Technology Insights

Although orthopedics encompasses numerous subspecialties relating to specific areas of the musculoskeletal system, most orthopedic surgeons have historically focused specialized in hip and knee joint replacements. 

Shoulder repair, sports medicine, hand/wrist and foot/ankle procedures all represent potential areas for specialization, however, and a growing number of orthopedic surgeons are specializing in these areas to enhance their competitiveness.

From a competitive standpoint, retaining surgeons who excel in each of these areas improves patient convenience and enables development of a musculoskeletal center, which incorporates services such as pain management and rehabilitation. 

These centers not only allow hospitals to reduce patient leakage but also provide them with a competitive advantage over smaller, independent orthopedics practices.

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What's new in orthopedics: Top three takeaways from AAOS 2013

April 8, 2013

Katie Rief

Our orthopedics team just returned from the 2013 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) in Chicago. In our discussions with physicians, vendors, and administrators looking to measure the pulse of change in orthopedics, we noticed that three major topics seemed to be on everyone's mind: quality, operational improvements, and technology investments.

Read on to learn what everyone is talking about and what you need to consider when planning for the future of your orthopedic service line.

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Metal-on-metal management: Are you prepared?

April 3, 2013

Sam Gold

There is little doubt that metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implant technology is problematic for both patients and the clinicians who treat them. Orthopedic leaders are shifting their focus to figure out how to best manage the health of patients who have received this technology. 

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Cost of a total hip replacement? Your guess is as bad as theirs

March 4, 2013

Sam Gold

new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine examines the uncertainties that currently exist in the total joint replacement market. While it is common that patients don't know the actual cost of their hip or knee surgery (mostly because of disparate payment structures and insurance agreements), this study documents hospitals’ understanding—or lack thereof—of their charges for a total hip replacement.

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