3 Ways Spine Surgeons Can Increase Their RevenuesWritten by Lindsey Dunn | July 09, 2010
Kenneth Pettine, MD, is a board-certified spine surgeon and co-founder of Loveland, Colo.-based Rocky Mountain Associates in Orthopedic Medicine. As one of the busiest spine surgeons in the country, Dr. Pettine is familiar with how important productivity is to revenue generation. Here, he shares three ways spine surgeons can increase the revenue they generate.
1. Do your own injections. Spine surgeons who do not currently perform their own pain injections and instead refer them out should learn how to perform these procedures themselves. Dr. Pettine suggests spine surgeons undergo training in this area and then begin first with lumbar spine injections. "A spine surgeon with a busy practice could generate another $100,000-$200,000 per year by performing these procedures," says Dr. Pettine.
2. Don't rely on ancillaries. While many practice administrators may view ancillaries as a cushion for physician fees, Dr. Pettine warns that most of his practice's ancillaries are essentially breaking even, even in the best circumstances. "Here's a situation that can't possibly get any better: we have an MRI scanner that is 100-percent owned by two surgeons; it's the only open MRI in a 60 mile radius, and it's still barely profitable," he says. Other ancillaries at RMA Ortho, such as DME and a pharmacy, do create a profit, but it is still very minimal, according to Dr. Pettine.
3. Invest in an ASC. If a spine surgeon has not currently invested in an ambulatory surgery center, Dr. Pettine urges them to consider doing so. Although an investment doesn't directly contribute to practice revenue, it does help drive a surgeon's individual income. "In terms of my annual income, my ownership makes up the largest portion of that, followed by surgical fees," he says.
Learn more about RMA Ortho.
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2011. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.