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Are Cervical Disc Arthroplasty Medicare Reimbursement Trends Sustainable? London Spine

Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

The London Spine Unit : most specialised spinal clinic in UK

Published article

CONCLUSIONS: While utilization and total hospital charges for CDA continue to rise, Medicare physician reimbursement has not shown the same trend. In fact, inflation-adjusted reimbursement has seen a steady decline since FDA approval in 2007. If this trend persists, it may become unsustainable for physicians to continue offering CDA to Medicare patients. As disproportionate increases in hospital charges incentivize a transition to outpatient CDA, stricter patient selection criteria associated…
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The London Spine Unit is a specialist clinic for Cervical Disc Arthoplasty as Day Surgery.

Abstract

Background: Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 as a motion-sparing procedure to treat cervical degenerative disc disease. Since then, promising results from randomized control trials have led to increasing popularity. However, data discussing monetary trends are limited. The aim of this study was to determine how utilization, hospital charges, and Medicare physician reimbursement for CDA have changed over time.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, International Classification of Diseases procedure codes were used to identify all patients who underwent CDA from 2007 to 2017 in the National Inpatient Sample database. The Physician Fee Schedule Look-up Tool from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was queried for primary CDA using current procedural terminology codes to determine Medicare physician reimbursement from 2009 to 2021. Nominal monetary values were adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index and inflation-adjusted data reported in 2021 US dollars.

Results: A total of 33,079 weighted patients who underwent CDA were included for analysis. CDA utilization increased by 183% from 2007 to 2017, with Medicare beneficiary utilization increasing 149%. Inflation-adjusted total hospital charges for CDA increased by 22.4%. However, inflation-adjusted Medicare physician reimbursement fell by 1.20% per year, demonstrating a total decrease of 12.9%, starting at $1928 in 2009 and declining to $1679 in 2021.

Conclusions: While utilization and total hospital charges for CDA continue to rise, Medicare physician reimbursement has not shown the same trend. In fact, inflation-adjusted reimbursement has seen a steady decline since FDA approval in 2007. If this trend persists, it may become unsustainable for physicians to continue offering CDA to Medicare patients. As disproportionate increases in hospital charges incentivize a transition to outpatient CDA, stricter patient selection criteria associated with outpatient procedures may create health care disparities for Medicare patients and those with higher comorbidity burden.

Clinical relevance: This study shows the decreasing reimbursement trends for CDA, which may disproportionately affect Medicare patients and those with increased comorbidities.

Keywords: cervical spondylosis; disc degeneration; health expenditures.

The London Spine Unit : most specialised spinal clinic in UK

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Are Cervical Disc Arthroplasty Medicare Reimbursement Trends Sustainable?

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Abstract Background: Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 as a motion-sparing procedure to treat cervical degenerative disc disease. Since then, promising results from randomized control trials have led to increasing popularity. However, data discussing monetary trends are limited. The aim of this study was…

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