Today’s Top Story

CMS may no longer pay for spine surgery at same-day centers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will decide whether to continue to pay for spine surgeries at same-day surgery centers after potentially fatal risks were reported, according to a report from Kaiser Health News. CMS will consider if the surgeries “pose a significant safety risk,” according to a Medicare proposal. The topic garnered attention after a Kaiser Health News and USA Today investigation discovered a number of patient deaths within a day of the surgery related to complications. A final decision is expected by the end of the year.

Read more…

Other News

Study: More implants for surgically treated idiopathic scoliosis may not affect patient-reported outcomes

Implant density does not always impact patient-reported outcomes when surgically treating idiopathic scoliosis, according to a retrospective study published online in The Bone & Joint Journal. Researchers identified 328 patients aged 10–20 years at the time of surgery from the Swedish spine register (Swespine). Patients were classified as low density (mean number of implants per operated vertebra = 1.36), medium density (1.65), and high density (1.91). Reoperation and curve correction rates and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) 22r total score did not differ significantly among the groups. Researchers noted marginal differences in the SRS 22r domains: the medium-density group reported a higher level of self-image and the high-density group had a greater satisfaction rate. They concluded there was no advantage in using a high number of implants per operated vertebra in this patient population.

Read the abstract…

Many adults with opioid prescriptions are not counseled on how to handle leftover medication

Most older adults with an opioid prescription do not have conversations with their healthcare providers about what to do with leftover pills, according to a report from the National Poll on Healthy Aging at the University of Michigan. Researchers surveyed 589 American adults 50–80 years old who received an opioid prescription in the past two years. They found that only 37 percent had a discussion with their provider about what to do with leftover medication. Half of the adults reported having leftover medication, and 86 percent said they hold onto the pills for use in case of future pain. Just 13 percent said they returned the extra medication to an approved location. Researchers noted that keeping extra opioids in the home is the most common way for family members or others to misuse these medications.

Read more…

Read the report…

Study: Nonoperatively treated foot and ankle patients report different levels of pain to surgeons, nurses

A retrospective cohort study published online in Foot & Ankle International found that patients who undergo nonoperative foot and ankle treatments may report higher levels of pain to their surgeons than to nurses. The study analyzed 201 consecutive patients treated by a single surgeon. Patients were asked to report their level of pain using a horizontal visual analog scale (VAS) from zero (no pain) to 10 (worst pain). Patients treated nonoperatively reported a mean VAS score of 4.2 to their surgeons and 3.2 to nurses. The researchers said these findings are similar to those of a previous study they conducted.

Read the abstract…

Study: Three or more hours per day of video games may adversely impact young athletes

Young baseball players may be negatively affected by playing video games for an extended period of time, according to a study published online in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. The study assessed 200 young baseball players aged 9–12 years who participated in the National Junior Sports Clubs Baseball Festival in 2017. Prolonged periods of playing video games led to elbow or shoulder pain in 30 percent of participants. Researchers found that those who played video games for more than three hours per day were at significantly greater odds of having shoulder or elbow pain compared to those who played for one hour or less each day.

Read the abstract…


Educating today’s residents to become tomorrow’s leaders

Making sure that residents get what they need through leadership, education, and support is essential for professional and personal growth. During a session at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C, moderators Lisa Cannada, MD, and Thomas Muzzonigro, MD, and speakers Megan R. Wolf, MD, Henry Ellis, MD, Charles Nelson, MD, and Todd Schmidt, MD, discussed what residents truly want from their AAOS membership, the importance of mentoring, and what AAOS means to practicing orthopaedic surgeons.

Read more…


Last call: Apply for Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee member position

The Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee has an open member position, a three-year term that runs through March 12, 2021. The committee monitors and makes recommendations regarding Medicare payment and coverage policy issues. The last day to submit an application is Aug. 24.

Learn more and submit your application… (member login required)