and more physician-opened surgery centers pop up, the volume
of surgeries increase as well, according to new research
by Jean Mitchell, professor at the Georgetown Public Policy
Institute at Georgetown University.
studied the impact of new physician-owned spine surgery
centers in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. She found 43 cases of
complex spinal fusion surgery in Oklahoma City in 2004,
compared with only nine cases in 1999. At the same time,
rates of the much less profitable simple spinal fusion surgery
decreased by 12 percent in Oklahoma City and 37 percent
vast majority of these complex spinal surgeries happened
in physician-owned surgery centers.
increasing dramatically were pain management procedures,
knee surgeries and procedures to remove internal fixation
devices except for hip and femur.
concluded that physicians owning their own surgery centers
caused them to change their practice patterns, and that
drove up costs to third-party payers.