Publications by authors named "Jay M Levin"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Short stay after shoulder arthroplasty does not increase 90-day readmissions in Medicare patients compared with privately insured patients.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: As of January 1, 2021, total shoulder arthroplasty was removed from the Medicare inpatient-only list, reflecting a growing belief in the potential merits of same-day discharge regardless of insurance type. It is yet unknown whether Medicare populations, which frequently have more severe comorbidity burdens, would experience higher complication rates relative to privately insured patients, who are often younger with fewer comorbidities. Given the limited number of true outpatient cohorts available to study, discharge at least by postoperative day 1 may serve as a useful proxy for true same-day discharge, and we hypothesized that these Medicare patients would have increased 90-day readmission rates compared with their privately insured counterparts.

Methods: Data on 4723 total shoulder arthroplasties (anatomic in 2459 and reverse in 2264) from 2 large, geographically diverse health systems in patients having either Medicare or private insurance were collected. The unplanned 90-day readmission rate was the primary outcome, and patients were stratified into those who were discharged at least by postoperative day 1 (short inpatient stay) and those who were not. Patients with private insurance (n = 1845) were directly compared with those with Medicare (n = 2878), whereas cohorts of workers' compensation (n = 198) and Medicaid (n = 58) patients were analyzed separately. Forty preoperative variables were examined to compare overall health burden, with the χ and Wilcoxon rank sum tests used to test for statistical significance.

Results: Medicare patients undergoing short-stay shoulder arthroplasty were not significantly more likely than those with private insurance to experience an unplanned 90-day readmission (3.6% vs. 2.5%, P = .14). This similarity existed despite a substantially worse comorbidity burden in the Medicare population (P < .05 for 26 of 40 factors). Furthermore, a short inpatient stay did not result in an increased 90-day readmission rate in either Medicare patients (3.6% vs. 3.4%, P = .77) or their privately insured counterparts (2.5% vs. 2.4%, P = .92). Notably, when the analysis was restricted to a single insurance type, readmission rates were significantly higher for reverse shoulder arthroplasty compared with total shoulder arthroplasty (P < .001 for both), but when the analysis was restricted to a single procedure (anatomic or reverse), readmission rates were similar between Medicare and privately insured patients, whether undergoing a short or extended length of stay.

Conclusions: Despite a substantially more severe comorbidity profile, Medicare patients undergoing short-stay shoulder arthroplasty did not experience a significantly higher rate of unplanned 90-day readmission relative to privately insured patients. A higher incidence of reverse shoulder arthroplasty in Medicare patients does increase their overall readmission rate, but a similar increase also appears in privately-insured patients undergoing a reverse indicating that Medicare populations may be similarly appropriate for accelerated-care pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2021.05.013DOI Listing
June 2021

Key drivers of patient satisfaction with spine surgeons in the outpatient setting.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Mar 19:1-8. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

1Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic.

Objective: The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) was developed as a result of the value-based purchasing initiative by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It allows patients to rate their experience with their provider in the outpatient setting. These ratings are then reported in aggregate and made publicly available, allowing patients to make informed choices during physician selection. In this study, the authors sought to elucidate the primary drivers of patient satisfaction in the office-based spine surgery setting as represented by the CG-CAHPS.

Methods: All patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery between 2009 and 2017 and completed a patient experience survey were studied. The satisfied group comprised patients who selected a top-box score (9 or 10) for overall provider rating (OPR) on the CG-CAHPS, while the unsatisfied group comprised the remaining patients. Demographic and surgical characteristics were compared using the chi-square test for categorical variables and the Student t-test for continuous variables. A multivariable logistic regression model was developed to analyze the association of patient and surgeon characteristics with OPR. Survey items were then added to the baseline model individually, adjusting for covariates.

Results: The study population included 647 patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery. Of these patients, 564 (87%) selected an OPR of 9 or 10 on the CG-CAHPS and were included in the satisfied group. Patient characteristics were similar between the two groups. The two groups did not differ significantly regarding patient-reported health status measures. After adjusting for potential confounders, the following survey items were associated with the greatest odds of selecting a top-box OPR: did this provider show respect for what you had to say? (OR 21.26, 95% CI 9.98-48.10); and did this provider seem to know the important information about your medical history? (OR 20.93, 95% CI 11.96-45.50).

Conclusions: The present study sought to identify the key drivers of patient satisfaction in the postoperative office-based spine surgery setting and found several important associations. After adjusting for potential confounders, several items relating to physician communication were found to be the strongest predictors of patient satisfaction. This highlights the importance of effective communication in the patient-provider interaction and elucidates avenues for quality improvement efforts in the spine care setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE201292DOI Listing
March 2021

The Impact of Preoperative Depression on Patient Satisfaction With Spine Surgeons in the Outpatient Setting.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Feb;46(3):184-190

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association between preoperative depression and patient satisfaction in the outpatient spine clinic after lumbar surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: The Clinician and Group Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey is used to measure patient experience in the outpatient setting. CG-CAHPS scores may be used by health systems in physician incentive programs and quality improvement initiatives or by prospective patients when selecting spine surgeons. Although preoperative depression has been shown to predict poor patient-reported outcomes and less satisfaction with the inpatient experience following lumbar surgery, its impact on patient experience with spine surgeons in the outpatient setting remains unclear.

Methods: Patients who underwent lumbar surgery and completed the CG-CAHPS survey at postoperative follow-up with their spine surgeon between 2009 and 2017 were included. Data were collected on patient demographics, Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) scores, and Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Global Health Physical Health (PROMIS-GPH) subscores. Patients with preoperative PHQ-9 scores ≥10 (moderate-to-severe depression) were included in the depressed cohort. The association between preoperative depression and top-box satisfaction ratings on several dimensions of the CG-CAHPS survey was examined.

Results: Of the 419 patients included in this study, 72 met criteria for preoperative depression. Depressed patients were less likely to provide top-box satisfaction ratings on CG-CAHPS metrics pertaining to physician communication and overall provider rating (OPR). Even after controlling for patient-level covariates, our multivariate analysis revealed that depressed patients had lower odds of reporting top-box OPR (odds ratio [OR]: 0.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.06-0.63, P = 0.007), feeling that their spine surgeon provided understandable explanations (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.11-0.91, P = 0.032), and feeling that their spine surgeon provided understandable responses to their questions or concerns (OR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.06-0.63, P = 0.007).

Conclusion: Preoperative depression is independently associated with lower OPR and satisfaction with spine surgeon communication in the outpatient setting after lumbar surgery.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003763DOI Listing
February 2021

The association between patient rating of their spine surgeon and quality of postoperative outcome.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Dec 18:1-7. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

1Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic.

Objective: The Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a result of their value-based purchasing initiative. It allows patients to rate their experience with their provider in the outpatient setting. This presents a unique situation in healthcare in which the patient experience drives the marketplace, and since its creation, providers have sought to improve patient satisfaction. Within the spine surgery setting, however, the question remains whether improved patient satisfaction correlates with improved outcomes.

Methods: All patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery between 2009 and 2017 and who completed a CG-CAHPS survey after their procedure were studied. Demographic and surgical characteristics were then obtained. The primary outcomes of this study include patient-reported health outcomes measures such as the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Health (PROMIS-GH) surveys for both mental health (PROMIS-GH-MH) and physical health (PROMIS-GH-PH), and the visual analog scale for back pain (VAS-BP). A multivariable linear regression analysis was used to assess whether patient satisfaction with their provider was associated with changes in each health status measure after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: The study population included 647 patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery. Of these, 564 (87%) indicated that they were satisfied with the care they received. Demographic and surgical characteristics were largely similar between the two groups. Multivariable linear regression demonstrated that patient satisfaction with their provider was not a significant predictor of change in two of the three patient-reported outcomes (PROMIS-GH-MH and PROMIS-GH-PH) assessed at 1 year. However, top-box patient satisfaction with their provider was a significant predictor of improvement in VAS-BP scores at 1 year.

Conclusions: The authors found that after adjusting for patient-level covariates such as age, diagnosis of disc displacement, self-reported mental health, self-reported overall health, and preoperative patient-reported outcome measure status, a significant association was observed between top-box overall provider rating and 1-year improvement in VAS-BP, but no such association was observed for PROMIS-GH-PH and PROMIS-GH-MH. This suggests that pain-related outcome measures may serve as better predictors of patients' satisfaction with their spine surgeons. Furthermore, this suggests that the current method by which patient satisfaction is being assessed and publicly reported may not necessarily correlate with validated measures that are used within the spine surgery setting to assess surgical efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.SPINE20478DOI Listing
December 2020

The Association Between Physicians' Communication and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Spine Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Aug;45(15):1073-1080

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected data.

Objective: Determine the association between satisfaction with physician communication and patient-reported outcomes in the inpatient spine surgery setting.

Summary Of Background Data: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys measure the patient experience of care and influence reimbursement for hospital systems and providers in the United States. It is not known whether patient satisfaction with physician communication is associated with better outcomes after spine surgery. Therefore, we evaluated the association between patient satisfaction with physician communication on the HCAHPS survey and improvements in validated patient-reported outcomes measures in a spine surgery population.

Methods: HCAHPS responses were obtained for patients undergoing elective cervical or lumbar spine surgery from 2013 to 2015. Patient-reported health status measures were the primary outcomes, including EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D), Pain Disability Questionnaire (PDQ), and Visual Analog Scores for Back and Neck Pain (VAS-BP/NP). The association between satisfaction with communication and preoperative to 1 year postoperative changes in each health status measure was evaluated utilizing multivariable linear regression models.

Results: Our study included 648 patients, of which, 479 (74.4%) created our satisfied cohort. Demographically, our two cohorts were similar with regards to preoperative clinical measures; however, the satisfied cohort had a higher self-rating of their mental health (P < 0.01), and overall health (P < 0.01). After adjusting for clinically relevant confounders, our results demonstrated no significant association between satisfaction with physician communication and improvement in EQ-5D (P = 0.312), PDQ (P = 0.498), or VAS pain scores (P = 0.592).

Conclusion: Patient satisfaction with physician communication was not associated with 1-year postoperative improvement in EQ-5D, PDQ, and VAS-Pain after spine surgery. These findings do not diminish the importance of effective communication between doctor and patient, but instead suggest that within the spine surgery setting, using only patient experience data may not accurately reflect the true quality of care received during their inpatient stay.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003458DOI Listing
August 2020

The Impact of Preoperative Depression on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey Results in a Cervical Spine Surgery Setting.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Jan;45(1):65-70

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected data.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the association between preoperative depression and patient experience in a cervical spine surgery population.

Summary Of Background Data: The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is used to measure patient experience and its scores directly influence reimbursement in the United States. Although it is well-established in the literature that untreated depression is associated with worse patient-reported outcomes in cervical spine surgery, no previous studies have analyzed the association between depression and patient satisfaction for these patients.

Methods: HCAHPS survey responses from patients undergoing cervical spine surgery between 2013 and 2015 were collected at a tertiary care center. HCHAPS survey responses were linked to demographic data as well as patient-reported quality of life (QOL) metrics including Patient Health Questionnaire, EuroQol 5 Dimensions index, and Visual Analog Scale for neck pain for each patient. Preoperative PHQ-9 scores of ≥10 (moderate to severe depression) was used to define preoperative depression. Uni- and multivariable analyses were performed to investigate the association of preoperative depression and top-box scores on several dimensions on the HCAHPS survey.

Results: In our 145-patient cohort, depressed patients were on average younger, had higher preoperative neck pain scores, and had a lower health-related QOL. Depressed patients were less likely to report satisfaction with questions related to doctor respect (P = 0.020) and doctors listening (P = 0.030). After adjusting for covariates, multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that patients with preoperative depression had lower odds of feeling respected by their physicians (odds ratio = 0.14, 95% confidence interval: 0.02-0.87, P = 0.035).

Conclusion: In patients undergoing cervical spine surgery, preoperative depression was found to have a negative association with patient perceptions of doctor communication as measured by the HCAHPS survey. These results highlight depression as a risk factor for worse patient experience communicating with their spine surgeon.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003222DOI Listing
January 2020

Quality of life changes after lumbar decompression in patients with tandem spinal stenosis.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2019 Sep 26;184:105455. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA; Department of Neurological Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Tandem spinal stenosis (TSS) is a degenerative spinal condition characterized by spinal canal narrowing at 2 or more distinct spinal levels. It is an aging-related condition that is likely to increase as the population ages, but which remains poorly described in the literature. Here we sought to determine the impact of primary lumbar decompression on quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes in patients with symptomatic TSS.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 803 patients with clinical and radiographic evidence of TSS treated between 2008 and 2014 with a minimum 2-year follow-up. The records of patients with clinical and radiographic evidence of concurrent cervical and lumbar stenosis were reviewed. Prospectively gathered QOL data, including the Pain Disability Questionnaire (PDQ), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), EuroQOL-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D), and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for low back pain, were assessed at the 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-ups.

Results: Of 803 identified patients (mean age 66.2 years; 46.9% male), 19.6% underwent lumbar decompression only, 14.1% underwent cervical + lumbar decompression, and 66.4% underwent conservative management only. Baseline VAS scores were similar across all groups, but patients undergoing conservative management had better baseline QOL scores on all other measures. Both surgical cohorts experienced significant improvements in the VAS, PDQ, and EQ-5D at all time points; patients in the cervical + lumbar cohort also had significant improvement in the PHQ-9. Conservatively managed patients showed no significant improvement in QOL scores at any follow-up interval.

Conclusion: Lumbar decompression with or without cervical decompression improves low back pain and QOL outcomes in patients with TSS. The decision to prioritize lumbar decompression is therefore unlikely to adversely affect long-term quality-of-life improvements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2019.105455DOI Listing
September 2019

Mortality after hip resurfacing versus total hip arthroplasty in young patients: a single surgeon experience.

Ann Transl Med 2019 Feb;7(4):77

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

Background: The aims of this study were to investigate the following questions: (I) what are the mortality rates in patients age 55 years and younger who underwent a hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) versus a standard total hip arthroplasty (THA)? (II) is the type of operation independently associated with mortality?

Methods: The database of a single high-volume surgeon was reviewed for patient's age 55 years and younger who underwent a hip arthroplasty between 2002 and 2010. This yielded 505 HRA patients and 124 THA patients. Chi-square analysis was performed to identify a 5-year mortality rate difference between the two cohorts. Multivariable Cox-Regression analyses were used to determine whether the type of operation was independently associated with mortality.

Results: There were 8 mortalities (1.6%) in the HRA cohort and 11 (8.9%) in the THA cohort, a statistically significant difference (P<0.001) on univariate analysis. Low mortality rates produced underpowered multivariate models.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated that patients age 55 and younger who undergo HRA have a significantly lower mortality rate than those undergoing THA. This is consistent with multiple previously published large database studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2019.01.39DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409229PMC
February 2019

Survivorship and Functional Outcomes of Cementless versus Cemented Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Meta-Analysis.

J Knee Surg 2020 Mar 8;33(3):270-278. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York.

The purpose of this meta-analysis was to assess the evidence supporting the use of cementless versus cemented total knee arthroplasties (TKAs). Specifically, we evaluated (1) all-cause survivorship, (2) aseptic survivorship, and (3) functional outcomes (Knee Society Scores [KSS], Oxford Knee Scores, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] scores, and ranges of motion [ROMs]). A literature search was performed for studies that evaluated cementless versus cemented TKAs published between 2000 and 2017. Selected studies included three randomized controlled trials, three retrospective observational studies, and one prospective observational study that met the following criteria: (1) primary TKAs, (2) compared cementless and cemented TKAs, (3) implant survivorship that described the causes of failure, and (4) at least one functional outcome. To compare the two cohorts, pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to calculate tibial and femoral implant survivorship, and pooled mean differences (MD) and 95% CI calculated the functional scores and ROMs. Based on pooled data from the few number of studies, cementless TKAs had a better all-cause survivorship (OR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.15-0.92) and tended to have a better aseptic survivorship (OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.17-1.14). However, this is likely due to the 83.3% weight of the single cementless study potentially influencing the analysis. There were no differences in terms of KSS knee (MD = 1.03; 95% CI, -1.13-3.20) or function scores (MD = 5.36; 95% CI, -3.75-14.51), Oxford knee scores (MD = 0.36; 95% CI, -3.84-4.56), or WOMAC scores (MD = 0.62; 95% CI, -0.87-2.11). Moreover, there was no difference in ROMs (MD = 1.47; 95% CI, -0.11-3.05). Cementless TKA had a better all-cause survivorship when compared with cemented fixation, and similar functional outcomes were demonstrated. However, these findings are based on only a few number of studies ( = 7). Therefore, additional prospective, randomized control trials need to be performed to best compare cementless versus cemented outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1678525DOI Listing
March 2020

Modern Dual-Mobility Cups in Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

J Arthroplasty 2018 12 18;33(12):3793-3800. Epub 2018 Aug 18.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY.

Background: The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze the outcomes of dual-mobility (DM) cups in revision total hip arthroplasty (THA). Specifically, we evaluated the following: (1) all-cause and aseptic survivorship rates; (2) dislocation rates; (3) complications; and (4) clinical outcomes reported using validated health status measures.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search included studies that reported the following: (1) re-revision rates, (2) complications, and (3) clinical outcomes following DM use in revision THA. The following exclusion criteria were used: (1) studies that did not stratify their analysis between primary and revision THA, (2) studies that utilized off-label techniques, (3) review articles, (4) case studies, (5) basic science articles, (6) non-English language reports, and (6) reports on patients who underwent surgery before 2010, in order to reflect modern DM implants use and technology. A total of 9 studies were included in our final analysis.

Results: Aseptic and all-cause survivorship rates were 97.7% and 94.5%. Prevalence of dislocation was 2.2%, and 0.3% for intraprosthetic dislocation. Meta-analysis comparing DM to fixed-bearing prostheses demonstrated a significantly lower odds of dislocation in the DM cohort (odds ratio 0.24, P = .002). Complications occurred in 7.4% of revision THAs with DM cups, while infection rates totaled to 3.3% of cases. Studies comparing outcomes using Harris Hip Scores did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference in improved postoperative scores (P > .05).

Conclusion: DM cups have demonstrated excellent survivorship, low dislocation, and overall complication rates. Therefore, it can be considered a safe and effective option, particularly in the high-risk patients who undergo revision THA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2018.08.013DOI Listing
December 2018

Patient-reported Allergies are Associated With Preoperative Psychological Distress and Less Satisfying Patient Experience in a Lumbar Spine Surgery Population.

Clin Spine Surg 2018 08;31(7):E368-E374

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic.

Study Design: This was a retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The main objectives of this study were: (1) to determine whether patient-reported allergies (PRAs) are associated with patient satisfaction scores, and (2) to clarify the association between PRAs and preoperative anxiety and depression in a lumbar spine surgery population.

Summary Of Background Data: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is currently used to measure the patient experience and there is concern that psychosocial factors are unaccounted for. Interestingly, PRAs have been linked to concurrent mood and other psychiatric disorders, as well as poor clinical outcomes in the orthopedic surgery setting.

Methods: HCAHPS survey data, patient demographics, surgical characteristics, and preoperative health status were obtained for each patient. Allergies were categorized as medical (ie, medications) and environmental (ie, food, animals). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine whether the number of medical and environmental PRAs are associated with HCAHPS scores. In addition, multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the association between PRAs and psychological distress.

Results: In 421 patients included, PRAs were associated with lower HCAHPS scores under several dimensions of the patient experience of care, including: nursing communication, pain management, communication about medicines, and transition of care. Medical PRAs was an independent predictor of low satisfaction with communication about a medication's side effects [odds ratio (OR), 0.88; P=0.03] and understanding the purpose for new medications (OR, 0.90; P=0.03). Environmental PRAs was an independent predictor of low satisfaction with both communication about a medication's side effects (OR, 0.68; P=0.03), and pain control (OR, 0.67; P=0.01). Moreover, having a PRA (OR, 1.64; P=0.04) was associated with EuroQol-5 Dimensions anxiety/depression and having an environmental PRA (OR, 2.13; P=0.03) was associated with depression.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the potential utility of PRAs to help identify patients with psychological distress who are at risk for a poor experience of lumbar spine surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000000665DOI Listing
August 2018

Key drivers of patient satisfaction in lumbar spine surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2018 06 23;28(6):586-592. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

1Center for Spine Health and.

OBJECTIVE The Patient Experience of Care, composed of 9 dimensions derived from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, is being used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adjust hospital reimbursement. Currently, there are minimal data on how scores on the constituent HCAHPS items impact the global dimension of satisfaction, the Overall Hospital Rating (OHR). The purpose of this study was to determine the key drivers of overall patient satisfaction in the setting of inpatient lumbar spine surgery. METHODS Demographic and preoperative patient characteristics were obtained. Patients selecting a top-box score for OHR (a 9 or 10 of 10) were considered to be satisfied with their hospital experience. A baseline multivariable logistic regression model was then developed to analyze the association between patient characteristics and top-box OHR. Then, multivariable logistic regression models adjusting for patient-level covariates were used to determine the association between individual components of the HCAHPS survey and a top-box OHR. RESULTS A total of 453 patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery were included, 80.1% of whom selected a top-box OHR. Diminishing overall health status (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.43-0.91) was negatively associated with top-box OHR. After adjusting for potential confounders, the survey items that were associated with the greatest increased odds of selecting a top-box OHR were: staff always did everything they could to help with pain (OR 12.5, 95% CI 6.6-23.7), and nurses were always respectful (OR 11.0, 95% CI 5.3-22.6). CONCLUSIONS Patient experience of care is increasingly being used to determine hospital and physician reimbursement. The present study analyzed the key drivers of patient experience among patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery and found several important associations. Patient overall health status was associated with top-box OHR. After adjusting for potential confounders, staff always doing everything they could to help with pain and nurses always being respectful were the strongest predictors of overall satisfaction in this population. These findings highlight opportunities for quality improvement efforts in the spine care setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2017.10.SPINE17732DOI Listing
June 2018

Posterolateral fusion (PLF) versus transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) for spondylolisthesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Spine J 2018 06 13;18(6):1088-1098. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, S-40, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, S-40, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

Background Context: Lumbar fusion is an effective and durable treatment for symptomatic lumbar spondylolisthesis; however, the current literature provides insufficient evidence to recommend an optimal surgical fusion strategy.

Purpose: The present study aims to compare the clinical outcomes, fusion rates, blood loss, and operative times between open posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF) alone and open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) + posterolateral fusion for spondylolisthesis.

Study Design: This is a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of English language studies for the treatment of spondylolisthesis with PLF versus PLF + TLIF.

Patient Sample: Data were obtained from published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and retrospective cohort studies.

Outcome Measures: Clinical outcomes included Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), back pain, leg pain, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores. Fusion rate, operative time, blood loss, and infection rate were also assessed.

Methods: A literature search of three electronic databases was performed to identify investigations performed comparing PLF alone with PLF + TLIF for treatment of low-grade lumbar spondylolisthesis. The summary effect size was assessed from pooling observational studies for each of the outcome variables, with odds ratios (ORs) used for fusion and infection rate, mean difference used for improvement in ODI and leg pain as well as operative time and blood loss, and standardized mean difference used for improvement in back pain and HRQOL outcomes. Studies were weighed based on the inverse of the variance and heterogeneity. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I-an estimate of the error caused by between-study variation. Effect sizes from the meta-analysis were then compared with data from the RCTs to assess congruence in outcomes.

Results: The initial literature search yielded 282 unique, English language studies. Seven were determined to meet our inclusion criteria and were included in our qualitative analysis. Five observational studies were included in our quantitative meta-analysis. The pooled fusion success rates were 84.7% (100/118) in the PLF group and 94.3% (116/123) in the TLIF group. Compared with TLIF patients, PLF patients had significantly lower odds of achieving solid arthrodesis (OR 0.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.13-0.82, p=.02; I=0%). With regard to improvement in back pain, the point estimate for the effect size was -0.27 (95% CI -0.43 to -0.10, p=.002; I=0%), in favor of the TLIF group. For ODI, the pooled estimate for the effect size was -3.73 (95% CI -7.09 to -0.38, p=.03; I=35%), significantly in favor of the TLIF group. Operative times were significantly shorter in the PLF group, with a summary effect size of -25.55 (95% CI -43.64 to -7.45, p<.01; I=54%). No significant difference was observed in leg pain, HRQOL improvement, blood loss, or infection rate. Our meta-analysis results were consistent with RCTs, in favor of TLIF for achieving radiographic fusion and greater improvement in ODI and back pain.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that for patients undergoing fusion for spondylolisthesis, TLIF is superior to PLF with regard to achieving radiographic fusion. However, current data only provide weak support, if any, favoring TLIF over PLF for clinical improvement in disability and back pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2018.01.028DOI Listing
June 2018

Cementless Posteriorly Stabilized Total Knee Arthroplasty: Seven-Year Minimum Follow-Up Report.

J Arthroplasty 2018 05 16;33(5):1399-1403. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Background: The purpose of this study is to evaluate (1) implant survivorship; (2) patient outcomes; (3) complications; and to (4) perform a radiographic analysis of cementless posteriorly stabilized total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients at a minimum of 7-year follow-up.

Methods: Our original cohort was composed of 114 consecutive cementless posteriorly stabilized total knee arthroplasties (110 patients) performed by a single surgeon between 2008 and 2010. Since our original report, 4 (1 bilateral) patients died and 2 were lost to follow-up. Therefore, there were 104 patients who had 107 knees available for final follow-up. The final cohort included 43 men and 61 women, who had a mean age of 69 years (range 47-87) and were followed from 7 to 9 years (mean 8 years). Patient outcomes and complications were obtained from electronic medical records. Radiographic assessment was done using the Knee Society Radiographic Evaluation System.

Results: The all-cause survivorship was 98% (95% confidence interval 1.01-0.96). Since the original report, there has been 1 post-traumatic loosening of the tibial baseplate, and 1 revision for instability. There were no femoral revisions or patella revisions. The mean Knee Society pain score was 93 points (range 80-100) and the function score was 78 points (range 68-95). Excluding revisions, there was no evidence of progressive loosening of any implant components.

Conclusion: Based on these 7-year minimum follow-ups, femoral, tibial, and patellar cementless hydroxylapatite-coated beaded implants perform well at up to 9 years postoperatively and offer surgeons and patients a cementless option that may provide long-lasting biological fixation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2017.11.020DOI Listing
May 2018

Emergency department visits after lumbar spine surgery are associated with lower Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores.

Spine J 2018 Feb 21;18(2):226-233. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, 9500 Euclid Avenue, S-40 Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, S-40 Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

Background: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys are used to assess the quality of the patient experience following an inpatient stay. Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores are used to determine reimbursement for hospital systems and incentivize spine surgeons nationwide. There are conflicting data detailing whether early readmission or other postdischarge complications are associated with patient responses on the HCAHPS survey. Currently, the association between postdischarge emergency department (ED) visits and HCAHPS scores following lumbar spine surgery is unknown.

Purpose: To determine whether ED visits within 30 days of discharge are associated with HCAHPS scores for patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Patient Sample: A total of 453 patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery who completed the HCAHPS survey between 2013 and 2015 at a single tertiary care center.

Outcome Measures: The HCAHPS survey-the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' official measure of patient experience-results for each patient were analyzed as the primary outcome of this study.

Methods: All patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery between 2013 and 2015 who completed an HCAHPS survey were studied. Patients were excluded from the study if they had been diagnosed with spinal malignancy or scoliosis. Patients who had an ED visit at our institution within 30 days of discharge were included in the ED visit cohort. The primary outcomes of this study include 21 measures of patient experience on the HCAHPS survey. Statistical analysis included Pearson chi-square for categorical variables, Student t test for normally distributed continuous variables, and Mann-Whitney U test for nonparametric variables. Additionally, log-binomial regression models were used to analyze the association between ED visits within 30 days after discharge and odds of top-box HCAHPS scores. No funds were received in support of this study, and the authors report no conflict of interest-associated biases.

Results: After adjusting for patient-level covariates using log-binomial regression models, we found postdischarge ED visits were independently associated with lower likelihood of top-box score for several individual questions on HCAHPS. Emergency department visits within 30 days of discharge were negatively associated with perceiving your doctor as "always" treating you with courtesy and respect (risk ratio [RR] 0.26, p<.001), as well as perceiving your doctor as "always" listeningcarefully to you (RR 0.40, p=.003). Also, patients with an ED visit were less likely to feel as if their preferences were taken into account when leaving the hospital (RR 0.61, p=.008), less likely to recommend the hospital to family or friends (RR 0.46, p=.020), and less likely to rate the hospital as a 9 or a 10 out of 10, the top-box score (RR 0.43, p=.005).

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a strong association between postdischarge ED visits and low HCAHPS scores for doctor communication, discharge information, and global measures of hospital satisfaction in a lumbar spine surgery population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2017.06.043DOI Listing
February 2018

Superior Segment Facet Joint Violation During Instrumented Lumbar Fusion is Associated With Higher Reoperation Rates and Diminished Improvement in Quality of Life.

Clin Spine Surg 2018 02;31(1):E36-E41

Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health.

Study Design: A retrospective cohort study at a single tertiary care center.

Objective: To determine the impact of superior segment facet joint violation (FJV) during lumbar fusion on reoperation rates and quality of life (QOL).

Summary Of Background Data: Although lumbar fusion is an efficacious and durable treatment for numerous spinal pathologies, adjacent segment degeneration remains a serious complication. FJV has been suggested to alter load-bearing capability and potentially contribute to adjacent segment degeneration.

Materials And Methods: Patients who underwent instrumented lumbar fusion surgery between 2009 and 2013 with postoperative computed tomography imaging were included. Patients were placed in the FJV group if either of the superior segment facet joints were compromised by the pedicle screw or rod. Patients with preserved facet joints were placed in the control group. Demographic, perioperative, QOL, and reoperation data were collected. QOL scores including the Pain Disability Questionnaire, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and EuroQOL 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) were acquired.

Results: Of 240 patients included, 112 patients were found to have FJV and the remaining 128 patients were placed in the control group. One year following lumbar fusion, QOL outcomes and reoperation rates were similar between the FJV and control groups. At 2-year follow-up, patients in the FJV group were less likely to make a significant improvement in EQ-5D (P=0.041). Also, the reoperation rate in the FJV group was significantly higher than in the control group at 2 years (15.2% vs. 6.3%, respectively; P=0.024) and 3 years (19.6% vs. 9.4%, P=0.023). Multivariable logistic regression showed FJV to be an independent predictor of both (1) failing to make a significant improvement in EQ-5D (P=0.046) and (2) undergoing reoperation at both 2 and 3 years postoperatively (P=0.024 and 0.020, respectively).

Conclusions: FJV was independently associated with a higher reoperation rate and diminished improvement in QOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000000566DOI Listing
February 2018

The association between the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey and real-world clinical outcomes in lumbar spine surgery.

Spine J 2017 11 8;17(11):1586-1593. Epub 2017 May 8.

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, S-40, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, S-40, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Background Context: The patient experience of care as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is currently used to determine hospital reimbursement. The current literature inconsistently demonstrates an association between patient satisfaction and surgical outcomes.

Purpose: To determine whether patient satisfaction with hospital experience is associated with better clinical outcomes in lumbar spine surgery.

Study Design: A retrospective cohort study conducted at a single institution.

Patient Sample: A total of 249 patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery between 2013 and 2015 and completed the HCAHPS survey.

Outcome Measures: Self-reported health status measures, including the EuroQol 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D), Pain Disability Questionnaire (PDQ), and visual analog score for back pain (VAS-BP).

Methods: All patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery between 2013 and 2015 who completed an HCAHPS survey were studied. Patients were excluded from the study if they had been diagnosed with spinal malignancy, scoliosis, or had less than 1 year of follow-up. Patients who selected a 9 or 10 overall hospital rating (OHR) on HCAHPS were placed in the satisfied group, and the remaining patients comprised the unsatisfied group. The primary outcomes of this study include patient-reported health status measures such as EQ-5D, PDQ, and VAS-BP. No funds were received in support of this study, and the authors report no conflict of interest-associated biases.

Results: Our study population consisted of 249 patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery. Of these, 197 (79%) patients selected an OHR of 9 or 10 on the HCAHPS survey and were included in the satisfied group. The only preoperative characteristics that differed significantly between the twogroups were gender, a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease (DDD), heavy preoperative narcotic use, and a diagnosis of chronic renal failure. At 1 year follow-up, no statistically significant differences in EQ-5D, PDQ, or VAS-BP were observed. After using multivariable linear regression models to assess the association between patient satisfaction and pre- to 1-year postoperative changes in health status measures, selecting a top-box OHR was not found to be significantly associated with change in either EQ-5D (beta=0.055 [95% confidence interval {CI}: -0.035 to 0.145]), PDQ (beta=-9.013 [95% CI: -23.782 to 5.755]), or VAS-BP (beta=-0.849 [95% CI: -2.125 to 0.426]). These results suggest high satisfaction with the hospital experience may not necessarily correlate with favorable clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: Top-box OHR was not associated with pre- to 1-year postoperative improvement in EQ-5D, PDQ, and VAS-BP. Although the associations between high satisfaction and improvement in health status did not reach statistical significance, the best estimates from our multivariable models reflect greater clinical improvement with top-box satisfaction. Future studies should seek to investigate whether HCAHPS are a reliable indicator of quality care in lumbar spine surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2017.05.002DOI Listing
November 2017

Impact of Preoperative Depression on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey Results in a Lumbar Fusion Population.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2017 May;42(9):675-681

Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: A retrospective cohort study at a single institution.

Objective: To determine the effect of preoperative depression on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores in a lumbar fusion population.

Summary Of Background Data: HCAHPS surveys are used to assess the quality of the patient experience, and directly influences reimbursement for hospital systems and spine surgeons nationwide. Untreated depression has been linked to worse functional outcomes in spine surgery. We, however, aimed to elucidate whether HCAHPS survey responses were different in depressed patients.

Methods: Prospectively collected functional outcome data including Patient Health Questionnaire 9, EuroQol five dimensions, and Pain Disability Questionnaire were analyzed preoperatively. Preoperative Patient Health Questionnaire 9 scores of greater than or equal to 10 (moderate to severe depression) defined our depressed cohort of patients. HCAHPS responses were obtained for each individual, allowing for real-world analysis of outcomes in this population.

Results: In our 237 patient cohort, depressed patients were younger, female; were on full disability; and had lower scores on EuroQol five dimensions and Pain Disability Questionnaire preoperatively. Approximately 73.2% of depressed patients felt doctors treated them with respect, compared to 88.8% of patients without depression (P = 0.005). Also, depressed patients felt nurses treated them with less respect (P = 0.014) and that physicians did not listen to them as carefully (P = 0.029). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that patients with preoperative depression had higher odds of patients feeling less respected by both physicians and nurses. Multivariate analysis also revealed that depression was an independent predictor of lower patient satisfaction with nursing response to their needs.

Conclusion: In patients undergoing lumbar fusion, preoperative depression was shown to have negative effect on patient experience measured by the HCAHPS survey. These results suggest that depression may be a modifiable risk factor for poor hospital experience.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002101DOI Listing
May 2017

Vertebroplasty and Return to Work for Thoracolumbar Fractures Within the Workers' Compensation Population.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2017 Jul;42(13):1024-1030

Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: Analyze efficacy of vertebroplasty and its affect on return to work (RTW) in a workers' compensation (WC) population SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Vertebroplasty remains a controversial treatment modality for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). No studies have analyzed use of vertebroplasty in the clinically distinct WC population.

Methods: A total of 371 Ohio WC subjects were identified who sustained VCFs and were treated with either vertebroplasty or conservative medical therapy between 1993 and 2013 using Current Procedural Terminology procedural and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis codes. Subjects with a prior smoking history, prior thoracolumbar surgery or comorbidities, or underwent decompression and/or fusion within 3 months after injury were excluded. Forty-six subjects had undergone vertebroplasty within 1 year of injury and were therefore included in the vertebroplasty group. The remaining 325 subjects received spinal orthosis and formed the control group. The primary outcomes were whether subjects returned to work at early and late time points. Early RTW was defined as returning to work within 3 months and remaining at work for more than 6 months of the following year. Late RTW was defined as returning to work within 2 years and remaining at work for more than 6 months of the following year. Secondary outcomes included opioid use, all-cause mortality, and additional VCFs.

Results: Approximately 37% (17/46) of vertebroplasty group made an early RTW, compared with 35.4% (115/325) of control group (P = 0.835). Regarding late RTW, only 54.3% (25/46) of vertebroplasty group made a sustainable RTW, compared with 70.8% (230/325) of subjects in control group (P = 0.025). In addition, the vertebroplasty group was associated with significantly higher postoperative opioid use.

Conclusion: Vertebroplasty may not be an effective treatment modality for VCFs in the WC population when RTW is the primary goal.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002008DOI Listing
July 2017
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