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General Versus Nongeneral Anesthesia for Spinal Surgery: A Comparative National Analysis of Reimbursement Trends Over 10 Years – Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

The article investigates trends in physician reimbursement for spine surgery under general anesthesia (GA) versus non-general anesthesia (non-GA) in the United States. The study analyzed data from 2011 to 2020, including over 474,000 patients who underwent spine decompression or stabilization procedures. The proportion of non-GA spine surgeries increased significantly over the study period. Non-GA lumbar procedures had higher and increasing reimbursement trends compared to GA procedures. However, reimbursement for cervical and thoracic spine surgeries remained equal regardless of the type of anesthesia and stayed relatively stable. The adoption of non-GA techniques in spine surgeries increased significantly during the study period

Summarised by Mr Mo Akmal – Lead Spinal Surgeon
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Published article

CONCLUSION: Non-GA lumbar decompressions and stabilizations are associated with higher and increasing reimbursement trends (wRVUs/h) compared with those under GA. Reimbursement for cervical and thoracic surgeries was equal regardless of the type of anesthesia and being relatively stable during the study period. The adoption of a non-GA technique relative to the GA increased significantly during the study period.

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Neurosurgery. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002670. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nongeneral anesthesia (non-GA) spine surgery is growing in popularity and has facilitated earlier postoperative recovery, reduced cost, and fewer complications compared with spine surgery under general anesthesia (GA). Changes in reimbursement policies have been demonstrated to correlate with clinical practice; however, they have,

Neurosurgery. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002670. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nongeneral anesthesia (non-GA) spine surgery is growing in popularity and has facilitated earlier postoperative recovery, reduced cost, and fewer complications compared with spine surgery under general anesthesia (GA). Changes in reimbursement policies have been demonstrated to correlate with clinical practice; however, they have yet to be studied for GA vs non-GA spine procedures. We aimed to investigate trends in physician reimbursement for GA vs non-GA spine surgery in the United States.

METHODS: We queried the ACS-NSQIP for GA and non-GA (regional, epidural, spinal, and anesthesia care/intravenous sedation) spine surgeries during 2011-2020. Work relative value units per operative hour (wRVUs/h) were retrieved for decompression or stabilization of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Propensity score matching (1:1) was performed using all baseline variables.

RESULTS: We included 474 706 patients who underwent spine decompression or stabilization procedures. GA was used in 472 248 operations, whereas 2458 operations were non-GA. The proportion of non-GA spine operations significantly increased during the study period. Operative times (P < .001) and length of stays (P < .001) were shorter in non-GA when compared with GA procedures. Non-GA lumbar procedures had significantly higher wRVUs/h when compared with the same procedures performed under GA (decompression; P < .001 and stabilization; P = .039). However, the same could not be said about cervicothoracic procedures. Lumbar decompression surgeries using non-GA witnessed significant yearly increase in wRVUs/h (P < .01) contrary to GA (P = .72). Physician reimbursement remained stable for procedures of the cervical or thoracic spine regardless of the anesthesia.

CONCLUSION: Non-GA lumbar decompressions and stabilizations are associated with higher and increasing reimbursement trends (wRVUs/h) compared with those under GA. Reimbursement for cervical and thoracic surgeries was equal regardless of the type of anesthesia and being relatively stable during the study period. The adoption of a non-GA technique relative to the GA increased significantly during the study period.

PMID:37856210 | DOI:10.1227/neu.0000000000002670

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General Versus Nongeneral Anesthesia for Spinal Surgery: A Comparative National Analysis of Reimbursement Trends Over 10 Years

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Neurosurgery. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002670. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nongeneral anesthesia (non-GA) spine surgery is growing in popularity and has facilitated earlier postoperative recovery, reduced cost, and fewer complications compared with spine surgery under general anesthesia (GA). Changes in reimbursement policies have been demonstrated to correlate with clinical practice; however, they have

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