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The future of spine care and why I'm inspired

Reflections from #BeckersSpine18

By Roger Cary, President and CEO, Laser Spine Institute

July 12, 2018

On June 15th, I had the pleasure to speak at Becker’s 16th Annual Future of Spine Conference in Chicago. And I was in good company, alongside more than 200 physicians, surgeons, business owners and operators, bold thinkers in our space. Among them were OptumHealth’s Andrew Hayek – and other notable names outside the healthcare industry, like Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Despite our different backgrounds, we came to Becker’s Future of Spine with a common goal – to ensure the future of outpatient spine, orthopedic care, pain management, and their positions as legitimate and in some cases, the most appropriate options for a patient to traditional hospital stays.

That sentiment was not only echoed throughout my keynote entitled, Total Spine Care: Meeting the Patient Where They Are, but also in the candid discussions I heard throughout my time in Chicago earlier in the month.

Since returning home, many of the discussions I listened to and participated in during the conference resonated with me so much that I’m sharing these key takeaways with my team:

Cross Collaboration with Providers
Collaboration is a key ingredient in both business sustainability and quality of care. By working together, we as healthcare providers have the opportunity to meet patients where they are in their own journey to find relief from their debilitating neck and back pain.

Yet, despite a growing ASC presence in strategic markets across the country, patients have told us that travel and related logistics weighed heavily on their decision to get the care they need – regardless of outcomes data. As a provider, we need to do more to serve our patients in a way that truly matters. Having this insight has helped us make a strategic shift in our care model, building out a network of like-minded neck and spine clinicians to deliver Laser Spine Institute’s quality care to patients in places that were previously out of reach of one of our seven ASCs. By treating them as trusted partners, instead of fierce competitors, we can help even more people find the lasting relief they deserve.

Driving Favorable Outcomes with Innovation
New technology and the latest innovations are often featured at conferences across the country, with top-of-the-line equipment and surgical techniques. But while technological innovation is always exciting to see, I view innovation as a new take on an old issue. I see it as a prime opportunity to bring about meaningful changes that serve our patients from holistic experience.

Healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace. That’s why I inspire our medical professionals at Laser Spine Institute to be constantly curious and strive for better ways to deliver that exceptional patient experience.

Focusing on Comprehensive Solutions
Prior to attending this conference, I shared my perspective on the innovations and developments in the spine care field in a recent interview with Becker’s ASC. What we’ve learned from the patients we’ve talked with at Laser Spine Institute is that they are seeking more than a surgical solution when it comes to treating neck and back pain. Although millions of people experience chronic pain, only a small percentage of them are candidates for surgery — not just minimally-invasive. Because of this, we as healthcare providers must customize our offerings to provide a comprehensive plan of action for the patient in need.

This is precisely why Laser Spine Institute introduced Total Spine Care, an expanded service of offerings that includes more conservative options like physical therapy, chiropractic care or non-opioid medications – so that we can help more patients in pain who are not ready for surgery.

As I noted in my post about the Lake Nona Impact Forum earlier this year, our patients must remain at the center of every decision we make. In fact, Laser Spine Institute has evolved our delivery of care model to the patients we serve locally, nationally and globally with our Total Spine Care launch. And by offering our own alternatives to minimally invasive surgery, we can continue the research and clinical innovation that sparked our desire to establish our world-class organization in the first place.