Association between Physician Industry Payments and Cost of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion in Medicare Beneficiaries. World neurosurgery Liu, C. n., Ahmed, K. n., Chen, C. L., Dudley, R. A., Gonzales, R. n., Orrico, K. n., Yerneni, K. n., Stienen, M. N., Veeravagu, A. n., Desai, A. n., Park, J. n., Ratliff, J. K., Zygourakis, C. C. 2020


Neurosurgical spine specialists receive considerable amounts of industry support which may impact the cost of care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between industry payments received by spine surgeons and the total hospital and operating room (OR) costs of an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure among Medicare beneficiaries.All ACDF cases were identified among the Medicare Carrier Files, from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, and matched to the Medicare Inpatient Baseline File. The total hospital and OR charges were obtained for these cases. Charges were converted to cost using year-specific cost-to-charge ratios. Surgeons were identified among Open Payments database, which is used to quantify industry support. Analyses was performed to examine the association between industry payments received and ACDF costs.Matching resulting in the inclusion of 2,209 ACDF claims from 2013-2014. In 2013 and 2014, the mean total cost for an ACDF was $21,798 and $21,008, respectively; mean OR cost was $5,878 and $6,064, respectively. Mann-Whitney U test demonstrated no significant differences in the mean total or OR cost for an ACDF based on quartile of general industry payment received (p=0.21 and p=0.54), and linear regression found no association between industry general payments, research support, or investments on the total hospital cost (p=0.41, p=0.13, and p=0.25), or OR cost for an ACDF (p=0.35, p=0.24, and p=0.40).This study suggests that spine surgeons performing ACDF surgeries may receive industry support without impacting the cost of care.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.023

View details for PubMedID 32791230