The business side of spine surgery poses many crucial financial choices. Here’s how three spine surgeons manage those challenges.
Question: What’s the hardest financial decision you had to make in your career? How did you approach it?
Todd Lanman, MD. ADR Spinal Restoration Center (Beverly Hills, Calif.): The hardest financial decision I had to make in my career was dropping insurance plans as an in-network provider. I had to make that decision because insurance companies kept lowering reimbursements, following Medicare’s lead. This makes it impractical for the physician to continue participating in private and governmental insurance programs because the reimbursements do not cover costs. Many physicians are forced to rush through consultations to try to make up the shortfall in volume and the quality of care almost always suffers. Despite the financial risks, I refused to practice medicine this way.