Making the move to endoscopic spine surgery: Key considerations from Dr. Tony Mork

Outpatient spine surgery has grown in the past year, and some ASC administrators are deciding if adding procedures is the right move for their business. Tony Mork, MD, founder of Endoscopic Spine Academy, sees endoscopic spine procedures as an opportunity for ASCs.

Dr. Mork is an orthopedic surgeon with 23 years of experience in minimally invasive spine surgery. Endoscopic Spine Academy was created to educate physicians in endoscopic spine procedures.

He gave a presentation and answered some questions in the March 16 webinar "Can endoscopic spine surgery be profitable in the ASC? Key considerations from an orthopedic surgeon."

Five key points:

1. An ASC's success in endoscopic spine surgery depends on its return on investment, Dr. Mork said. ASC administrators should balance the number of procedures being done, reimbursement received and operating costs.

2. Administrators should look to surgeons for help when it comes to determining the cost benefits of endoscopic spine surgery. CPT codes are specific to reimbursement, and ICD-10 codes are specific for prior authorization.

3. ASC administrators should determine volume by the total number of procedures that can be done with a given instrument set and the total cases a surgeon will perform at a center. 

4. ASCs that are struggling could benefit from offering endoscopic spine surgery and should consider partnering with physicians.

5. Darren Fisher, an ASC management expert who joined Dr. Mork's presentation, said administrators should pay close attention to the volume ratio versus payer mix. They should also consider what procedures endoscopic spine surgery will replace in the ASC.

View the full webinar here.



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