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Where non-operative spine specialists fit in the future

Nicola Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA


Non-operative spine specialists are able to work in tandem with spine surgeons in a practice when conservative treatment has failed; a spine surgeon is able to move forward with the case if surgery is required. Working with non-operating physicians has the potential to enhance your practices revenue while improving patient outcomes. Here are four things surgeons need to know:

  • Spine Surgeons and Non-Operative Spine Specialists
    can make all-star team Non-operative specialties are a good option for patients who want to opt for less invasive treatment. A spine surgeon can benefit from using a non-operative spine specialist in their practice. Not every patient wants to have surgery from the onset and will be happy that there are alternative treatment options for their condition.
  • Make good use of the experts you have
    Non-operating spine physicians are experts in spine medicine, pain management, as well as injury prevention and wellness. They specialize in the use of conservative treatment utilizing oral medications, physical therapy, and use of modalities. This expertise enables the specialist to determine the appropriate type and amount of physical therapy that is medically indicated for a given patient or diagnosis. It used to be relatively easy for spine surgeons to maintain their net incomes by seeing more patients and doing more surgeries. Now, surgeons have to employ other experts and ancillaries to maintain financial stability.
  • The Benefits
    The upsides of hiring a non-operating physician include: Patients are able to be seen on short notice, this appeals to patients and enhances the practice's quality of service. Non-operative physicians can also refer patients to the surgeon if they think surgery is necessary. They also free up the surgeon to perform more surgeries rather than being flooded with both surgical and non-surgical patients.
  • The Future
    Surgeons can develop a business plan with the non-operative specialists that can further the practice and appeal to a wide range of patients. Generating a good net income is dependent upon the need for both surgeon and non-operating specialists. A good way to maintain patient satisfaction and gain more new patients is to develop a marketing strategy for your practice. Giving patients the tools they need to make informed decisions about their care is a great way to expand the practice for the surgeon and non-operating specialist.

 Learn More
The Business of Spine - April 19, 2010
How Spine Surgeons Can Help to Lower Hospital Readmissions
Reimbursement for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
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