'There is a lot more business to do': Dr. Daniel Lieberman on spine ASC growth

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COVID-19 has accelerated the trend to outpatient spine surgery, according to Daniel Lieberman, MD, medical director of Phoenix Spine & Joint.

In this excerpt from an interview with Becker's Spine Review, Dr. Lieberman outlines what the next five to 10 years looks like for outpatient spine.

Q: What do you see as the next big trend in spine for ASCs?

Dr. Daniel Lieberman: Over the last five years we've seen real energy pulling away from deformity correction and multilevel fusion surgery, and the entire field of spine surgery moving into much more focused interventions based on structure. I think the next horizon is focused interventions based on symptoms. What patients really are concerned about is their pain. Our surgery centers offer endoscopic dorsal rhizotomy, so ultra-minimally invasive surgeries that eliminate pain are really the next horizon. It's almost like we're going to see spine surgery absorb and move into more of a pain management approach, rather than a structural correction approach.

Q: How do you see hospitals competing with ASCs post-pandemic?

DL: Hospitals are not going to stay on the sidelines. They can't let their golden egg leave the goose. They're going to have to be heavily involved in ASCs, so they're going to be another stakeholder that will get even more fired up and involved in our industry.

Q: How will you be looking at growth in 2021?

DL: We're seeing rapid growth in the number of surgeons who want to operate primarily in an ambulatory setting. Our physician recruitment is exponentially higher than it has ever been. We initially thought the transition to the ASC environment was going to take place over the next five to 10 years, but now I think it's going to over the next one to five years. So, we're opening a new surgery center in Gilbert, Arizona — our biggest center yet. We've already recruited most of the physicians we need to fill it. We're seeing this as a new period of growth for ASCs, coming on top of an old period of growth. The ASC market has been getting bigger and stronger for years and we see that continuing to increase in the future. There is a lot more business to do.

Read the full article here.

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