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March 28, 2019

Medicare Reduces Payments to 800 Hospitals Citing Patient Safety Incidences

Medicare announced on March 1, 2019, that 800 hospitals will be paid less by Medicare this year because of high rates of infections and patient injuries. The number is the highest since the federal government five years ago launched the Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) Reduction Program, created by the Affordable Care Act. This year, 110 hospitals are being punished for the fifth straight time. The penalties pit hospitals against one another in a race to prevent the most infections, blood clots, cases of sepsis, bedsores, hip fractures and other complications. Each year, the quarter of general hospitals with the highest rates are punished, even if their records have improved from the previous year. Under the announced sanctions, each hospital will lose 1 […]
March 28, 2019

FDA Announces Sweeping Plan To Review Safety Of Surgical Staplers

The FDA Food and Drug Administration announced a sweeping plan on March 8, 2019, to review and address the safety of surgical staplers. In a letter sent to health-care providers Friday, the FDA said it will convene an advisory meeting on the safety of the devices and signaled that it might reclassify surgical staplers to put them under tighter control. The agency also said it plans to issue proposed recommendations to companies that make the devices, which are used in countless surgeries. The FDA also acknowledged in its letter that “we are aware that many more device malfunction reports during this time frame” were submitted as “summary reports,” which go to the FDA but are not included in the public database known […]
March 28, 2019

Alabama Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) Issues a positive coverage policy for Minimally Invasive SI Joint Surgery

A recent convening of Alabama BCBS’ Medical Policy Group proposed a positive change to their policy on Minimally Invasive SI Joint Surgery to establish MIS SIJ fusion as medically necessary using an FDA-approved device (not specific to any one device type) when all of the following criteria are met: Pain is at least 5 on a 0 to 10 rating scale that impacts quality of life or limits activities of daily living; AND There is an absence of generalized pain behavior (e.g., somatoform disorder) or generalized pain disorders (e.g., fibromyalgia); AND Patients have undergone and failed a minimum six months of intensive non-operative treatment that must include medication optimization, activity modification, bracing, and active therapeutic exercise targeted at the lumbar spine, pelvis, sacroiliac joint, and […]
  • ISASS provides the missing link in spine surgery. The society has developed a unique platform for spinal surgeons, innovative scientists, and industry, all having the goal of improving today’s treatment options and patient outcomes. Innovation is needed, but the great ideas meet many obstructions before clinical implementation. Let’s learn from each other at ISASS. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Move on and become an ISASS member.
  • Steven Wolf, MD
    Thank you! It was a great meeting! This meeting was the way NASS used to be in the 1990s.
    Steven Wolf, MD
    Mount Sinai
  • Mark Kurd, MD
    ISASS is the rising star for spine surgeons.
    Mark Kurd, MD
    Rothman Institute
  • Brian Grossman, MD
    Great course [ISASS January 2014 Course and Cadaver Lab]. Picked up some very practical pearls that I’ll be able to implement in my practice right away.
    Brian Grossman, MD
    Southern California Orthopedic Institute
  • Leonard Schultz, MD, Founder, Chairman and CEO
    Attending ISASS as part of the cadaver lab was a great experience, not to mention our brief time with you and some of the participants. We would like to continue to be part of the effort.
    Leonard Schultz, MD, Founder, Chairman and CEO
    Nascent Surgical
  • Óscar L. Alves, MD, Head of Neurosurgery, Senior Neurosurgeon
    My impressions were strongly positive. Very high scientific level and lots of opportunities to learn. I appreciated also the international outreach of the society compared with other spine societies. It looks there is a chance for non US surgeons to come forward and share their spine work.
    Óscar L. Alves, MD, Head of Neurosurgery, Senior Neurosurgeon
    Hospital Lusiadas Porto, Centro hospitalar de Gaia
  • Sean Parker, VP Market Development
    Fan of ISASS - progressive thinking group, great opportunity for the Sentio MMG technology. Look forward to being in attendance!
    Sean Parker, VP Market Development
    Sentio, LLC
  • Hansen A. Yuan, MD, Spine Surgeon, Professor of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery
    The surgeon’s choice!
    Hansen A. Yuan, MD, Spine Surgeon, Professor of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery
    State University of New York
  • Tony Castellvi, MD, Spine Surgeon
    This meeting is surgeon-focused, well organized and very informative.
    Tony Castellvi, MD, Spine Surgeon
    Florida Orthopedic Institute
  • Matthew Scott Young, MD, Spine Surgeon
    For spine surgeons ISASS is the GO TO meeting to discover what works, what doesn’t, and what is emerging. A must for spine surgeons.
    Matthew Scott Young, MD, Spine Surgeon
    Gold Coast Spine, Australia
  • Frank M. Phillips, MD, Professo
    ISASS has evolved into one of the premiere spine surgery meetings. The quality of research, presentations and symposia is outstanding. Great to attend a spine surgery focused meeting with an international presence.
    Frank M. Phillips, MD, Professo
    Rush Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Matt Miksic, Sr Reseach Analyst
    The agenda of clinical research presentations at this year’s ISASS annual meeting was as strong as we’ve ever seen.
    Matt Miksic, Sr Reseach Analyst
    Piper Jaffray
  • Scott Blumenthal, MD, Spine Surgeon
    The scientific sessions were robust and comprehensive. If you want to stay informed on emerging technologies in spine surgery, this meeting is a must.
    Scott Blumenthal, MD, Spine Surgeon
    Texas Back Institute
  • Raymond Cloutier, VP of Engineering & Development Spine
    I believe ISASS efforts are being recognized and these efforts will ultimately help promote better spine care for patients.
    Raymond Cloutier, VP of Engineering & Development Spine
    Exactech, Inc.
  • Neel Anand, MD, Spine Surgeon
    The ISASS meeting serves as a platform for assessing and defining the latest technologies around the world. Critically reviewed by a panel of peers, it truly is the society for the advancement of spinal surgery.
    Neel Anand, MD, Spine Surgeon
    Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  • Robert Assell, VP of Research and Development
    I would say the society is well on its way to being the principal voice of the surgical community.
    Robert Assell, VP of Research and Development
    Zyga Technology, Inc.
  • Michael Gordon, MD, Spine Surgeon
    ISASS13: A wow moment for spine surgeons.
    Michael Gordon, MD, Spine Surgeon
    HOI Orthopedics
  • Charlie Branch, Professor and Chair, Neurosurgery
    The ISASS Annual Meeting was a fantastic educational and networking experience. The focus on spine surgery and outcomes in an intimate collaborative setting is a great value.
    Charlie Branch, Professor and Chair, Neurosurgery
    Wake Forest Baptist Health System
  • Morgan Lorio, MD, Spine Surgeon, Neuro Spine Solutions
    Most patients go to their ‘spine doc’ for pain alleviation... not neuro deficit, not deformity, not instability. If we fail to steward and oversee the entire field of spine then we will become dinosaurs like some other specialties have become. The issue of untrained practitioners treating without training will grow... this underlines the importance of ISASS for spine surgeons by surgeons.
    Morgan Lorio, MD, Spine Surgeon, Neuro Spine Solutions
    Neuro Spine Solutions
  • Av Edidin, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer / Associate Professor
    I was really pleased with the ISASS annual meeting. It was focussed, with good topics and wide geographic representation; very interesting. The society has great momentum.
    Av Edidin, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer / Associate Professor
    Relievant Inc. / Drexel University
  • Michal Hisey, MD, Spine Surgeon
    ISASS is definitely the exception... Your efforts are definitely appreciated. When other docs ask who is a positive voice for surgeons and their patients I always point out ISASS as the best.
    Michal Hisey, MD, Spine Surgeon
    Texas Back Institute

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