Publications by authors named "Tarun Jella"

36 Publications

Sociodemographic disparities in the use of health information technology by a national sample of head and neck cancer patients.

Am J Otolaryngol 2021 Dec 3;43(2):103308. Epub 2021 Dec 3.

Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, United States of America. Electronic address:

Background: Quantifying disparities in health information technology (HIT) use among head and neck cancer (HNC) patients may help clinicians reduce care gaps and improve outcomes.

Methods: Relationships between HIT usage and sociodemographic characteristics were studied for adults with HNC between 2011 and 2018 through a retrospective analysis of the US National Health Interview Survey.

Results: Multivariate logistic regression indicated HIT usage disparities based on race, age, educational attainment, and insurance status. Black (aOR 0.07, 95% CI 0.01-0.52, P = 0.010), uninsured (aOR 0.21, 95% CI 0.06-0.79, P = 0.022), and senior patients (aOR 2.72, 95% CI 1.55-4.80, P < 0.001) emailed providers less than non-Hispanic White, privately insured, and middle-aged (45-64) patients, respectively. Similar disparities were found among patients searching for health information, scheduling appointments, and filling prescriptions online.

Conclusion: Black, older, less educated, and un/underinsured HNC patients use HIT less than their counterparts. Reducing these inequities may help improve their outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjoto.2021.103308DOI Listing
December 2021

Trends in testosterone prescription amongst medical specialties: a 5-year CMS data analysis.

Int J Impot Res 2022 Jan 7. Epub 2022 Jan 7.

Urology Institute, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Testosterone Therapy (TTh) trends have changed as a result of clinical research and market forces over the past several years. Understanding the trends or preferences regarding testosterone prescriptions remains unknown. Our objective was to assess both regional and national trends in TTh prescriptions amongst medical specialties within the United States between 2013 and 2017. Publicly available data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Part D Prescriber database with regards to TTh prescriptions across a 5-year span (January 1, 2013-December 31, 2017) were analyzed. TTh therapies were consolidated into four categories: Topical, Oral, Injection and Pellet. Statistical analysis utilizing R 4.0.2 was performed on the resulting data. Trends in prescription modality claim count and cost were plotted over the study period while statistical analysis evaluated associations between TTh modality and medical specialist. We found that Endocrinologists and Urologists prescribed topical testosterone more than all other specialties (60.4% and 53.5%, respectively), while Family and Internal medicine physicians were more likely to prescribe injections (59.82% and 50.69%, respectively). Oral and pellet testosterone were rarely prescribed across all specialties. In conclusion, the wide variation in modalities of testosterone prescriptions illustrates an opportunity for treatment guidelines to be streamlined across all specialists to improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41443-021-00497-6DOI Listing
January 2022

Is Our Science Representative? A Systematic Review of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Orthopaedic Clinical Trials from 2000 to 2020.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2021 12 2. Epub 2021 Dec 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Background: A lack of racial and ethnic representation in clinical trials may limit the generalizability of the orthopaedic evidence base as it applies to patients in underrepresented minority populations and perpetuate existing disparities in use, complications, or functional outcomes. Although some commentators have implied the need for mandatory race or ethnicity reporting across all orthopaedic trials, the usefulness of race or ethnic reporting likely depends on the specific topic, prior evidence of disparities, and individualized study hypotheses.

Questions/purposes: In a systematic review, we asked: (1) What proportion of orthopaedic clinical trials report race or ethnicity data, and of studies that do, how many report data regarding social covariates or genomic testing? (2) What trends and associations exist for racial and ethnic reporting among these trials between 2000 and 2020? (3) What is the racial or ethnic representation of United States trial participants compared with that reported in the United States Census?

Methods: We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials with human participants published in three leading general-interest orthopaedic journals that focus on clinical research: The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Volume; Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research; and Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. We searched the PubMed and Embase databases using the following inclusion criteria: English-language studies, human studies, randomized controlled trials, publication date from 2000 to 2020, and published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research; The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Volume; or Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Primary outcome measures included whether studies reported participant race or ethnicity, other social covariates (insurance status, housing or homelessness, education and literacy, transportation, income and employment, and food security and nutrition), and genomic testing. The secondary outcome measure was the racial and ethnic categorical distribution of the trial participants included in the studies reporting race or ethnicity. From our search, 1043 randomized controlled trials with 184,643 enrolled patients met the inclusion criteria. Among these studies, 21% (223 of 1043) had a small (< 50) sample size, 56% (581 of 1043) had a medium (50 to 200) sample size, and 23% (239 of 1043) had a large (> 200) sample size. Fourteen percent (141 of 1043) were based in the Northeast United States, 9.2% (96 of 1043) were in the Midwest, 4.7% (49 of 1043) were in the West, 7.2% (75 of 1043) were in the South, and 65% (682 of 1043) were outside the United States. We calculated the overall proportion of studies meeting the inclusion criteria that reported race or ethnicity. Then among the subset of studies reporting race or ethnicity, we determined the overall rate and distribution of social covariates and genomic testing reporting. We calculated the proportion of studies reporting race or ethnicity that also reported a difference in outcome by race or ethnicity. We calculated the proportion of studies reporting race or ethnicity by each year in the study period. We also calculated the proportions and 95% CIs of individual patients in each racial or ethnic category of the studies meeting the inclusion criteria.

Results: During the study period (2000 to 2020), 8.5% (89 of 1043) of studies reported race or ethnicity. Of the trials reporting this factor, 4.5% (four of 89) reported insurance status, 15% (13 of 89) reported income, 4.5% (four of 89) reported housing or homelessness, 18% (16 of 89) reported education and literacy, 0% (0 of 89) reported transportation, and 2.2% (two of 89) reported food security or nutrition of trial participants. Seventy-eight percent (69 of 89) of trials reported no social covariates, while 22% (20 of 89) reported at least one. However, 0% (0 of 89) of trials reported genomic testing. Additionally, 5.6% (five of 89) of these trials reported a difference in outcomes by race or ethnicity. The proportion of studies reporting race or ethnicity increased, on average, by 0.6% annually (95% CI 0.2% to 1.0%; p = 0.02). After controlling for potentially confounding variables such as funding source, we found that studies with an increased sample size were more likely to report data by race or ethnicity; location in North America overall, Europe, Asia, and Australia or New Zealand (compared with the Northeast United States) were less likely to; and specialty-topic studies (compared with general orthopaedics research) were less likely to. Our sample of United States trials contained 18.9% more white participants than that reported in the United States Census (95% CI 18.4% to 19.4%; p < 0.001), 5.0% fewer Black participants (95% CI 4.6% to 5.3%; p < 0.001), 17.0% fewer Hispanic participants (95% CI 16.8% to 17.1%; p < 0.001), 5.3% fewer Asian participants (95% CI 5.2% to 5.4%; p < 0.001), and 7.5% more participants from other groups (95% CI 7.2% to 7.9%; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Reporting of race or ethnicity data in orthopaedic clinical trials is low compared with other medical fields, although the proportion of diseases warranting this reporting might be lower in orthopaedics.

Clinical Relevance: Investigators should initiate discussions about race and ethnicity reporting in the early stages of clinical trial development by surveying available published evidence for relevant health disparities, social determinants, and, when warranted, genomic risk factors. The decision to include or exclude race and ethnicity data in study protocols should be based on specific hypotheses, necessary statistical power, and an appreciation for unmeasured confounding. Future studies should evaluate cost-efficient mechanisms for obtaining baseline social covariate data and investigate researcher perspectives on current administrative workflows and decision-making algorithms for race and ethnicity reporting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000002050DOI Listing
December 2021

Demographic Analysis of Financial Hardships Faced by Brain Tumor Survivors.

World Neurosurg 2021 Oct 20. Epub 2021 Oct 20.

Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Quantitative analysis of the financial hardship faced by patients with brain tumors is lacking. The present study sought to conduct a longitudinal analysis of responses to the National Health Interview Survey by patients diagnosed with brain tumors and characterize the impact of demographic factors on financial hardship indices.

Methods: National Health Interview Survey respondents between 1997 and 2018 who reported previous diagnosis with cancer of the brain and who responded to 4 survey questions that assessed financial stress were included. Sociodemographic exposures included age, ethnicity/race, marriage status, insurance status, and degree of highest educational attainment.

Results: Educational attainment, marital status, and insurance status were the most significant risk factors for temporary or indefinite delays to necessary medical care. Those with only a high-school diploma had 9.6 times higher odds (adjusted odds ratio, 9.68; 95% confidence interval, 2.96-31.70; P < 0.001) of reporting that, in the past 12 months, one of their family members had to limit their medical care in an effort to save money. Similarly, patients with brain tumors who were not married had 3.94 times greater odds (adjusted odds ratio, 3.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.49-10.44; P = 0.009) of avoiding necessary medical care because of an inability to afford it.

Conclusions: Given this variation in self-reported financial burden, demographics clearly have an impact on a patient's holistic experience after a brain cancer diagnosis. Therefore, by using the comparisons in this study, we hope that medical institutions and neurosurgical societies can more accurately predict which patients are most susceptible to significant financial stress and distribute resources accordingly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.10.124DOI Listing
October 2021

How Did Orthopaedic Surgeons Perform in the 2018 Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services Merit-based Incentive Payment System?

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2022 01;480(1):8-22

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Background: The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is the latest value-based payment program implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As performance-based bonuses and penalties continue to rise in magnitude, it is essential to evaluate this program's ability to achieve its core objectives of quality improvement, cost reduction, and competition around clinically meaningful outcomes.

Questions/purposes: We asked the following: (1) How do orthopaedic surgeons differ on the MIPS compared with surgeons in other specialties, both in terms of the MIPS scores and bonuses that derive from them? (2) What features of surgeons and practices are associated with receiving penalties based on the MIPS? (3) What features of surgeons and practices are associated with receiving a perfect score of 100 based on the MIPS?

Methods: Scores from the 2018 MIPS reporting period were linked to physician demographic and practice-based information using the Medicare Part B Provider Utilization and Payment File, the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System Data (NPPES), and National Physician Compare Database. For all orthopaedic surgeons identified within the Physician Compare Database, there were 15,210 MIPS scores identified, representing a 72% (15,210 of 21,124) participation rate in the 2018 MIPS. Those participating in the MIPS receive a final score (0 to 100, with 100 being a perfect score) based on a weighted calculation of performance metrics across four domains: quality, promoting interoperability, improvement activities, and costs. In 2018, orthopaedic surgeons had an overall mean ± SD score of 87 ± 21. From these scores, payment adjustments are determined in the following manner: scores less than 15 received a maximum penalty adjustment of -5% ("penalty"), scores equal to 15 did not receive an adjustment ("neutral"), scores between 15 and 70 received a positive adjustment ("positive"), and scores above 70 (maximum 100) received both a positive adjustment and an additional exceptional performance adjustment with a maximum adjustment of +5% ("bonus"). Adjustments among orthopaedic surgeons were compared across various demographic and practice characteristics. Both the mean MIPS score and the resulting payment adjustments were compared with a group of surgeons in other subspecialties. Finally, multivariable logistic regression models were generated to identify which variables were associated with increased odds of receiving a penalty as well as a perfect score of 100.

Results: Compared with surgeons in other specialties, orthopaedic surgeons' mean MIPS score was 4.8 (95% CI 4.3 to 5.2; p < 0.001) points lower. From this difference, a lower proportion of orthopaedic surgeons received bonuses (-5.0% [95% CI -5.6 to -4.3]; p < 0.001), and a greater proportion received penalties (+0.5% [95% CI 0.2 to 0.8]; p < 0.001) and positive adjustments (+4.6% [95% CI 6.1 to 10.7]; p < 0.001) compared with surgeons in other specialties. After controlling for potentially confounding variables such as gender, years in practice, and practice setting, small (1 to 49 members) group size (adjusted odds ratio 22.2 [95% CI 8.17 to 60.3]; p < 0.001) and higher Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) scores (aOR 2.32 [95% CI 1.35 to 4.01]; p = 0.002) were associated with increased odds of a penalty. Also, after controlling for potential confounding, we found that reporting through an alternative payment model (aOR 28.7 [95% CI 24.0 to 34.3]; p < 0.001) was associated with increased odds of a perfect score, whereas small practice size (1 to 49 members) (aOR 0.35 [95% CI 0.31 to 0.39]; p < 0.001), a high patient volume (greater than 500 Medicare patients) (aOR 0.82 [95% CI 0.70 to 0.95]; p = 0.01), and higher HCC score (aOR 0.79 [95% Cl 0.66 to 0.93]; p = 0.006) were associated with decreased odds of a perfect MIPS score.

Conclusion: Collectively, orthopaedic surgeons performed well in the second year of the MIPS, with 87% earning bonus payments. Among participating orthopaedic surgeons, individual reporting affiliation, small practice size, and more medically complex patient populations were associated with higher odds of receiving penalties and lower odds of earning a perfect score. Based on these findings, we recommend that individuals and orthopaedic surgeons in small group practices strive to forge partnerships with larger hospital practices with adequate ancillary staff to support quality reporting initiatives. Such partnerships may help relieve surgeons of growing administrative obligations and allow for maintained focus on direct patient care activities. Policymakers should aim to produce a shortened panel of performance measures to ensure more standardized comparison and less time and energy diverted from established clinical workflows. The current MIPS scoring methodology should also be amended with a complexity modifier to ensure fair evaluation of surgeons practicing in the safety net setting, or those treating patients with a high comorbidity burden.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8673991PMC
January 2022

Industry Payments Among Appropriate Use Criteria Voting Panels: An Open Payments Analysis.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 Sep 10. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

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

Background: Although multiple studies have consistently demonstrated that orthopaedic surgeons receive greater transfers of value than other specialties, the industry payments of providers who are involved in the formation of practice guidelines have not been thoroughly explored. Therefore, the purpose of our analysis was to evaluate the industry payments of the authors of the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Methods: The publicly available AAOS web portal (OrthoGuidelines.org) was queried for all AUCs that had been released between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2019, regarding the management of musculoskeletal pathologies. A cross-sectional analysis of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments database was conducted to determine the number and total value of industry payments to AUC voting committee members during the year of voting for the AUC. Industry payments for each orthopaedic surgeon voting member were compared with payments received by orthopaedic surgeons nationwide who received any payment within the same year. The proportion of orthopaedic surgeon voting members who received any industry payment was compared with the proportion of orthopaedic surgeons nationwide who received payments.

Results: Our analysis included a total of 18 different AUCs with 216 voting members, 157 of whom were orthopaedic surgeons. Of the orthopaedic surgeon voting members, 105 (67%) received industry payments, a rate roughly comparable with the national average among orthopaedic surgeons (74%). For 7 of 18 AUCs (39%), the median payment per orthopaedic surgeon voting member was above the median among orthopaedic surgeons receiving payments nationwide that year. Qualitatively, orthopaedic surgeon voting members were more likely to receive payments in the form of royalties, licenses, or speaking fees than orthopaedic surgeons nationwide.

Conclusions: AUC voting members receive payments at frequencies and magnitudes that are roughly comparable with orthopaedic surgeons nationwide. Whether voting panel members receiving payments at these rates is ideal or is in the best interest of patients is a policy decision for the AAOS and society at large. Our study confirms that payments are common and, thus, continued vigilance is justified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.21.00150DOI Listing
September 2021

Assessing financial insecurity among common eye conditions: a 2016-2017 national health survey study.

Eye (Lond) 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute Center for Ophthalmic Bioinformatics, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Objective: To explore the prevalence and demographics of financial insecurity in individuals with eye disease in the United States.

Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study analysed questions from the nationally representative 2016-2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) with the eye conditions macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataract. Data was analysed as a whole and then further analysed by condition. Evaluated topics indicated financial insecurity such as individuals reporting difficulty paying bills among eye conditions studied and by demographics.

Results: Survey responses estimated that the overall prevalence of reporting problems paying or unable to pay bills were 12.49% (95% C.I. 11.62-13.36%) among patients with eye conditions. The overall prevalence of patients delaying care was 6.77% (95% C.I. 6.17-7.36%) and 17.06% (95% C.I. 15.99-18.14%) of individuals with eye conditions reported worrying about housing payments. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that demographics who more frequently had difficulty paying medical bills include individuals age 45-64 (3.33 aOR, C.I. 2.79-3.98, p < 0.001), blacks (1.90 aOR, C.I., 1.48-2.45, p < 0.001), Hispanics (1.51 aOR, C.I. 1.07-2.12, p = 0.020), and those 100-200% of the federal poverty line (2.16 aOR, C.I. 1.76-2.66, p < 0.001) or below the poverty line (1.93 aOR, C.I. 1.48-2.53, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: There are several demographics with eye disease that self-report financial insecurity. There should be greater concern for financial insecurity among diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma patients. Ophthalmologists should consider engaging in proactive discussions with at-risk patients to reduce potential non-adherence secondary to financial insecurity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01745-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8380859PMC
August 2021

Venture Capital Investment in Orthopaedics: Has the Landscape Changed over the Past Two Decades (2000-2019)?

Surg Innov 2021 Jul 9:15533506211031072. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2569Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA.

. Innovations in orthopaedic technologies often require significant funding. Although an increasing trend has been observed for third-party investments in other medical fields, no study has examined the influence of venture capital (VC) funding in orthopaedics. Therefore, this study analyzed trends in VC investments related to the field of orthopaedic surgery, as well as the characteristics of recipients of these investments. . Venture capital investments into orthopaedic-related businesses were reviewed from 2000 to 2019 using Capital IQ, a proprietary intelligence platform documenting financial investments. Metrics categorized were investments by year, investment amount, and subspecialty domain as per the American Academy Orthopaedic Surgeons website. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for both quantity and dollar amount of investments was calculated over the study period and the two decade-long periods (2000-2009 and 2010-2019). . Over two decades, 673 VC investments took place, involving a total of US$3.5 billion. Both the number and dollar value of investments were greater in the second decade (440, US$1.9 billion), compared to the first decade (233, US$1.6 billion). Both quantity and dollar amount of VC investments grew over the first decade, with a CAGR 9.53% and 4.97%, respectively. However, investment growth declined in the latter decade. The largest and most frequent investments took place within spine surgery and adult reconstruction. . An initially rising trend in VC investment in orthopaedic-related businesses may have plateaued over the past decade. These findings may have important implications for continued investment into orthopaedic innovations and collaboration between the surgical community and private sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15533506211031072DOI Listing
July 2021

Post-Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 Trends in Lumbar Magnetic Resonance Imaging Use for Patients with Low Back Pain at 1373 Hospitals.

World Neurosurg 2021 10 6;154:e147-e154. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Lumbar Spine MRI Use for Low Back Pain (OP-8) is calculated by dividing the number of patients who received lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-L) before receiving alternative treatments (e.g., physical therapy) by the total number of patients receiving MRI-L in the outpatient setting at a given institution. Since the passage of the Post-Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), OP-8 scores became tied to hospital finances. This study aims to determine how MACRA has impacted OP-8 scores since its implementation. We also aim to investigate how regional designation, profit status (for-profit, government, and nonprofit), and hospital setting (critical access, non-critical access) affect OP-8 scores.

Methods: Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database were used to extract information on the national trends in OP-8 scores from 2014 to 2020. A multivariable linear regression model was fit to isolate the impact of hospital characteristics on OP-8 scores.

Results: After a decrease from 2015 to 2016, the mean national OP-8 score plateaued, staying around 40% from 2017 through 2020. A critical access setting increased OP-8 scores by 5.41 (95% confidence interval, 3.51-6.77; P ≤ 0.001), compared with a non-critical access setting. Governmental status increased scores by 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 0.28-2.27; P = 0.012), compared with a nonprofit status.

Conclusions: The implementation of MACRA seems to have been unsuccessful in altering practice patterns, given the minimal change in OP-8 scores over the last 4 years. Furthermore, institutional factors are clearly correlated with a lack of adherence to magnetic resonance imaging guidelines. Given these findings, there is a need to modify health policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.06.144DOI Listing
October 2021

Prevalence, trends, and demographic characteristics associated with self-reported financial stress among head and neck cancer patients in the United States of America.

Am J Otolaryngol 2021 Nov-Dec;42(6):103154. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, United States of America. Electronic address:

Background: Understanding the economic burden imposed by head and neck cancer diagnoses essential to contextualize healthcare decision-making for these patients.

Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of the US National Health Interview Survey was performed between 2013 and 2018. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of adult head and neck cancer patients were analyzed in relation to survey responses related to financial stress factors.

Results: Among 710 head and neck cancer patients, 21.39% (95% Cl, 17.69%-25.09%) reported difficulty paying medical bills within the previous 12 months. Multivariable logistic regression revealed insurance status [aOR 2.17 (95% CI, 1.15-4.07), p < 0.001] and poverty status [aOR 2.55 (95% CI, 1.48-4.37), p = 0.017] to be significantly associated with difficulty paying medical bills.

Conclusion: A large proportion of HNC patients may experience financial stress related not only to out-of-pocket health care costs, but also exogenous financial challenges. These findings suggest that a significant proportion of HNC patients may experience financial stress related not only to out-of-pocket health care costs, but also exogenous financial challenges. Such barriers may impede patients' ability to access and adhere to treatment or force detrimental tradeoffs between health care and other essential needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjoto.2021.103154DOI Listing
January 2022

Considerations for Reducing Bias While Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Academic Surgery.

JAMA Surg 2021 10;156(10):990-991

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2021.2325DOI Listing
October 2021

Medicare reimbursement disparities persist for female otolaryngologists performing endoscopic sinonasal procedures.

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2021 09 24;11(9):1387-1390. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alr.22806DOI Listing
September 2021

A Work in Progress: National Opioid Prescription Reductions Across Orthopaedic Subspecialties in a Contemporary Medicare Sample of 5,026,911 Claims.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev 2021 05 20;5(5). Epub 2021 May 20.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH (Acuña, Jella, Dr. Samuel, Cwalina, Dr. Kamath), and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sutter Health-Burlingame Center, Burlingame, CA (Dr. Kim).

Introduction: As the opioid epidemic continues in the United States, efforts by orthopaedic surgeons to reduce opioid prescriptions remain critical. Although previous studies have demonstrated reductions in prescriptions across surgical specialties, there is limited information regarding contemporary trends in opioid prescriptions across orthopaedic subspecialties. Our analysis sought to estimate the frequency and trends of opioid prescriptions among Medicare Part D enrollees.

Methods: The Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber Public Use Files from Centers of Medicare and Medicare from 2014 to 2018 were analyzed. These data were merged with the National Provider Identifier Registry to identify the subspecialty of providers. Prescriber opioid prescription rate, days per claim, and claims per patient were calculated. Temporal trends were tested using linear regression. Poisson regression was used to calculate annual adjusted incidence rate ratios while controlling for year, surgeon sex, average patient comorbidity risk score, and average patient age.

Results: We analyzed 5,026,911 opioid claims prescribed to 2,661,762 beneficiaries. Among all orthopaedic surgeons, the opioid prescription rate per 100 beneficiaries significantly decreased over the study period from 52.99 (95% CI, 52.6 to 53.37) to 44.50 (44.06 to 44.93) (P = 0.002). This decrease was observed for each subspecialty (all P values < 0.05). Similar significant reductions were appreciated across cohorts in the number of claims per beneficiary (all P values < 0.05). The opioid prescription rate among all orthopaedic surgeons and each subspecialty decreased significantly over the study period after controlling for various patient and surgeon characteristics (all P values < 0.05).

Conclusion: Orthopaedic surgeons across subspecialties have reduced their rates of opioid prescriptions over recent years. Although increased prescription-limiting legislation, alternative methods of pain control, and prescriber reeducation regarding the correct quantity of opioids needed for postoperative pain relief, ongoing research, and efforts are needed to translate these reductions into clinically meaningful changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-21-00080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140777PMC
May 2021

A systematic review of telehealth for the delivery of emergent neurosurgical care.

J Telemed Telecare 2021 Jun 18;27(5):261-268. Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota, USA.

Introduction: In 2017, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons published a statement in support of adopting telemedicine technologies in neurosurgery. The position statement detailed the principles for use and summarised the active efforts at the time to address barriers that limited expansion of use, such as reimbursement, liability, credentialing and patient confidentiality. The primary aim of this systematic literature review was to identify the available published literature on the application of telemedicine to neurosurgical patient care, with a specific focus on neurotrauma and emergent neurological conditions.

Methods: This Level II systematic review of the literature was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2009 guidelines. Following removal of duplicates, 359 studies were yielded from database query. Following application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 78 articles were identified for full-text review.

Results: Full-text screening yielded a total of 11 studies for the final analysis. The study interventions took place in seven unique countries and included both developed and developing nations. Data captured spanned the years 1997 to 2019. The total cumulative number of patients who received neurosurgical telemedicine consultations captured by this review was 37,224.

Discussion: This review of the literature suggests that telemedicine in emergent settings offers safe, feasible, and cost-reducing methods of increasing access to high acuity neurosurgical care and may serve to limit unnecessary inter-facility transfers. As infrastructure and regulatory guidelines continue to evolve, neurosurgical patients, both domestic and abroad, will benefit from improved access to expertise afforded by telemedicine technologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1357633X211015548DOI Listing
June 2021

Opioid prescription patterns among urologists as compiled from within Medicare.

Can Urol Assoc J 2021 Nov;15(11):E574-E581

Urology Institute, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, United States.

Introduction: We aimed to evaluate opioid prescribing patterns of urologists across the United States (U.S.) and the District of Columbia (D.C.) using publicly available data from Medicare Part D. Our secondary analysis was to identify any loco-regional trends that may exist within the U.S.

Methods: We queried publicly reported information from the Part D prescriber database, which is compiled from beneficiaries enrolled within the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Only providers with the specialty description of urologist were included in this study.

Results: Between 2013 and 2017, a five-year average of 452 901 opioid claims by 9640 urologists - amounting to $5 357 114 USD and comprising 3.78% of all claims made - were identified. The state of Maine featured the highest percentage of opioid claims in relation to all claims (5.81%). West Virginia had the greatest average total opioid claims per provider (90), while Michigan featured the highest average proportion of opioid claims per provider (10.63%). The fewest opioid claims were processed within the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.

Conclusions: A multitude of factors likely contributes to variability between states. Urologists should be increasingly aware of their individual prescription tendencies and use available drug monitoring programs to reduce unnecessary prescriptions, all while providing more targeted and appropriate pain management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.7086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8641906PMC
November 2021

Good Morning, Orthopods: The Growth and Future Implications of Podcasts in Orthopaedic Surgery.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 05;103(9):840-847

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

Background: As the landscape of medical education evolves with emerging technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning platforms continue to gain popularity. Orthopaedic podcasts, a burgeoning e-learning platform, continue to gain traction; however, there is a paucity of information regarding their coverage of topics and their distribution over time. Therefore, our analysis sought to (1) characterize podcast content related to orthopaedic surgery, and (2) evaluate the changes in the prevalence of orthopaedic podcasts over the past 15 years.

Methods: Three common podcasting platforms (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify) were queried using the key terms "orthopaedic," "orthopedic," and "ortho" in order to identify a list of podcasts that are related to orthopaedic surgery. For each unique orthopaedic podcast, the title, the show description, the number of episodes, the date of the first episode, the date of the most recent episode, and episode frequency were collected. Podcasts were then classified based on a predetermined list of podcast domains. The number of existing active (released within the last 3 months) orthopaedic podcasts was then trended on a monthly basis from 2011 to 2020.

Results: Ninety-four unique podcasts met inclusion criteria, 62 of which remained active as of October 25, 2020. The most common podcast domains were "general" (38 [40.4%]) and "clinical knowledge" (20 [21.3%]). Among the assessed podcasts, 90 (95.7%) utilized an exclusively audio format. The majority of podcasts were based in the United States (89.4%), included introductory music (72.3%), and included interviews (63.8%). Most podcast hosts were practicing orthopaedic surgeons (52.1%). Between January 2016 and October 2020, the number of active orthopaedic surgery podcasts grew more than twelvefold (1,240%) at an average rate of roughly 1 new podcast each month (average, 1.0 podcast; standard deviation, 1.8).

Discussion: The past decade has seen sizable growth in the number of readily available podcasts related to orthopaedic surgery. Additional research is required to independently assess the quality of these resources and their implications for remote trainee education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.20.01598DOI Listing
May 2021

How Long Will It Take to Reach Gender Parity in Orthopaedic Surgery in the United States? An Analysis of the National Provider Identifier Registry.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2021 06;479(6):1179-1189

A. J. Acuña, T. K. Jella, L. T. Samuel, S. H. Jeong, A. F. Kamath, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Background: Although previous studies have evaluated how the proportion of women in orthopaedic surgery has changed over time, these analyses have been limited by small sample sizes, have primarily used data on residents, and have not included information on growth across subspecialties and geographic regions.

Question/purpose: We used the National Provider Identifier registry to ask: How have the (1) overall, (2) regional, and (3) subspecialty percentages of women among all currently practicing orthopaedic providers changed over time in the United States?

Methods: The National Provider Identifier Registry of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was queried for all active providers with taxonomy codes pertaining to orthopaedic subspecialties as of April 2020. Women orthopaedic surgeons were identified among all physicians with subspecialty taxonomy codes. As all providers are required to provide a gender when applying for an NPI, all providers with queried taxonomy codes additionally had gender classification. Our final cohort consisted of 31,296 practicing orthopaedic surgeons, of whom 8% (2363 of 31,296) were women. A total of 11,714 (37%) surgeons possessed taxonomy codes corresponding with a specific orthopaedic subspecialty. A univariate linear regression analysis was used to analyze trends in the annual proportions of women who are active orthopaedic surgeons based on NPI enumeration dates. Specifically, annual proportions were defined using cross-sections of the NPI registry on December 31 of each year. Linear regression was similarly used to evaluate changes in the annual proportion of women orthopaedic surgeons across United States Census regions and divisions, as well as orthopaedic subspecialties. The national growth rate was then projected forward to determine the year at which the representation of women orthopaedic surgeons would achieve parity with the proportion of all women physicians (36.3% or 340,018 of 936,254, as determined by the 2019 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile) and the proportion of all women in the United States (50.8% or 166,650,550 of 328,239,523 as determined by 2019 American Community Survey from the United States Census Bureau). Gender parity projections along with corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the Holt-Winters forecasting algorithm. The proportions of women physicians and women in the United States were assumed to remain fixed at 2019 values of 36.3% and 50.8%, respectively.

Results: There was a national increase in the proportion of women orthopaedic surgeons between 2010 and 2019 (r2 = 0.98; p < 0.001) at a compound annual growth rate of 2%. Specifically, the national proportion of orthopaedic surgeons who were women increased from 6% (1670 of 26,186) to 8% (2350 of 30,647). Assuming constant growth at this rate following 2019, the time to achieve gender parity with the overall medical profession (that is, to achieve 36.3% women in orthopaedic surgery) is projected to be 217 years, or by the year 2236. Likewise, the time to achieve gender parity with the overall US population (which is 50.8% women) is projected to be 326 years, or by the year 2354. During our study period, there were increases in the proportion of women orthopaedic surgeons across US Census regions. The lowest growth was in the West (17%) and the South (19%). Similar growth was demonstrated across census divisions. In each orthopaedic subspecialty, we found increases in the proportion of women surgeons throughout the study period. Adult reconstruction (0%) and spine surgery (1%) had the lowest growth.

Conclusion: We calculate that at the current rate of change, it will take more than 200 years for orthopaedic surgery to achieve gender parity with the overall medical profession. Although some regions and subspecialties have grown at comparably higher rates, collectively, there has been minimal growth across all domains.

Clinical Relevance: Given this meager growth, we believe that substantive changes must be made across all levels of orthopaedic education and leadership to steepen the current curve. These include mandating that all medical school curricula include dedicated exposure to orthopaedic surgery to increase the number of women coming through the orthopaedic pipeline. Additionally, we believe the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and individual programs should require specific benchmarks for the proportion of orthopaedic faculty and fellowship program directors, as well as for the proportion of incoming trainees, who are women. Furthermore, we believe there should be a national effort led by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and orthopaedic subspecialty societies to foster the academic development of women in orthopaedic surgery while recruiting more women into leadership positions. Future analyses should evaluate the efficacy of diversity efforts among other surgical specialties that have achieved or made greater strides toward gender parity, as well as how these programs can be implemented into orthopaedic surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8133193PMC
June 2021

Underutilization of Social Determinants of Health Billing Codes May Bias Surgical Disparities Research.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 06;46(12):E702-E703

Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004055DOI Listing
June 2021

Urologic Education in the Era of COVID-19: Results From a Webinar-Based Reconstructive Urology Lecture Series.

Urology 2021 06 22;152:2-8. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Urology Institute, Cleveland, OH; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH. Electronic address:

Objective: To determine the response to a virtual educational curriculum in reconstructive urology presented during the COVID-19 pandemic. To assess learner satisfaction with the format and content of the curriculum, including relevance to learners' education and practice.

Materials And Methods: A webinar curriculum of fundamental reconstructive urology topics was developed through the Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons and partnering institutions. Expert-led sessions were broadcasted. Registered participants were asked to complete a survey regarding the curriculum. Responses were used to assess the quality of the curriculum format and content, as well as participants' practice demographics.

Results: Our survey yielded a response rate of 34%. Survey responses showed >50% of practices offer reconstructive urologic services, with 37% offered by providers without formal fellowship training. A difference in self-reported baseline knowledge was seen amongst junior residents and attendings (P < .05). Regardless of level of training, all participants rated the topics presented as relevant to their education/practice (median response = 5/5). Responders also indicated that the curriculum supplemented their knowledge in reconstructive urology (median response = 5/5). The webinar format and overall satisfaction with the curriculum was highly rated (median response = 5/5). Participants also stated they were likely to recommend the series to others.

Conclusion: We demonstrate success of an online curriculum in reconstructive urology. Given >50% of practices surveyed offer reconstruction, we believe the curriculum's educational benefits (increasing access and collaboration while minimizing the risk of in-person contact) will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and that this will remain a relevant educational platform for urologists moving forward.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.03.004DOI Listing
June 2021

Inflation-Adjusted Medicare Reimbursement for Revision Hip Arthroplasty: Study Showing Significant Decrease from 2002 to 2019.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 07;103(13):1212-1219

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

Background: Investigations into reimbursement trends for primary and revision arthroplasty procedures have demonstrated a steady decline over the past several years. Revision total hip arthroplasty (rTHA) due to infection (rTHA-I) has been associated with higher resource utilization and complexity, but long-term inflation-adjusted data have yet to be compared between rTHA-I and rTHA due to aseptic complications (rTHA-A). The present study was performed to analyze temporal reimbursement trends regarding rTHA-I procedures compared with those for rTHA-A procedures.

Methods: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up Tool was used to extract Medicare reimbursements associated with 1-stage and 2-stage rTHA-I as well as 1-stage rTHA-A procedures from 2002 to 2019. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for rTHA were grouped according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons coding reference guide. Monetary values were adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; reported as 2019 U.S. dollars) and used to calculate the cumulative and average annual percent changes in reimbursement.

Results: Following inflation adjustment, the physician fee reimbursement for rTHA-A decreased by a mean [and standard deviation] of 27.26% ± 3.57% (from $2,209.11 in 2002 to $1,603.20 in 2019) for femoral component revision, 27.41% ± 3.57% (from $2,130.55 to $1,542.91) for acetabular component revision, and 27.50% ± 2.56% (from $2,775.53 to $2,007.61) for both-component revision. Similarly, for a 2-stage rTHA-I, the mean reimbursement declined by 18.74% ± 3.87% (from $2,063.36 in 2002 to $1,673.36 in 2019) and 24.45% ± 3.69% (from $2,328.79 to $1,755.45) for the explantation and reimplantation stages, respectively. The total decline in physician fee reimbursement for rTHA-I ($1,020.64 ± $233.72) was significantly greater than that for rTHA-A ($580.72 ± $107.22; p < 0.00001).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a consistent devaluation of both rTHA-I and rTHA-A procedures from 2002 to 2019, with a larger deficit seen for rTHA-I. A continuation of this trend could create substantial disincentives for physicians to perform such procedures and limit access to care at the population level.

Level Of Evidence: Economic and Decision Analysis Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.20.01643DOI Listing
July 2021

Utilization of health information technology among skin cancer patients: A cross-sectional study of the National Health Interview Survey from 2011 to 2018.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2021.03.033DOI Listing
March 2021

Workforce geography of older dermatologists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dermatol Ther 2021 05 6;34(3):e14917. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dth.14917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995123PMC
May 2021

Immediate Postoperative Imaging Following Elective Lumbar Fusion Provides Little Clinical Utility.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul;46(14):958-964

School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective review at a single institution of all adult patients who underwent elective lumbar fusion surgery for degenerative spinal disease from 2013 to 2018. Reoperation rates and change in clinical management due to routine imaging findings were the primary outcomes.

Objective: To investigate what effects immediate routine postoperative imaging has on the clinical management of patients following lumbar fusion surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: The clinical utility of routine postoperative imaging following lumbar fusion surgery remains uncertain. Existing studies on the clinical utility of postoperative imaging in lumbar fusion patients have largely focused on imaging obtained post-discharge. We present a retrospective analysis that to our knowledge is the first study reporting on the clinical utility of routine imaging in lumbar fusion patients during the immediate postoperative period.

Methods: The medical records of patients who had undergone elective lumbar instrumented fusion for degenerative disease from 2013 to 2018 by neurosurgeons across one regional healthcare system were retrospectively analyzed. Inpatient records and imaging orders for patients were reviewed. Routine immediate postoperative imaging was defined by any lumbar spine imaging prior to discharge in the absence of specific indications.

Results: Analysis identified 115 patients who underwent elective lumbar instrumented fusion for degenerative disease. One-hundred-twelve patients received routine postoperative imaging. Routine imaging was abnormal in four patients (4%). There was one instance (<1%) where routine immediate postoperative imaging led to change in clinical management. Abnormal routine imaging was not associated with either reoperation or development of neurological symptoms postoperatively (P = 0.10), however, new or worsening neurologic deficits did predict reoperation (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: New neurologic deficit was the only significant predictor of reoperation. Routine imaging, whether normal or abnormal, was not found to be associated with reoperation. The practice of routine imaging prior to discharge following elective lumbar fusion surgery appears to provide little utility to clinical management.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003953DOI Listing
July 2021

Cranial Surgical Site Infection Interventions and Prevention Bundles: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

World Neurosurg 2021 04 4;148:206-219.e4. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Background: Cranial surgical site infections (cSSIs) are associated with significant morbidity. Measures to reduce cSSI are necessary to reduce patient morbidity as well as hospital costs and resource utilization.

Objective: To identify and characterize interventions or bundled interventions aimed at reduction of the incidence of cranial surgical site infections.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. The search strategy included randomized trials, quasi-experimental studies, cohort studies, and case series published between 2000 and 2020 that evaluated interventions implemented to reduce cSSI. Bias assessments and data extraction were performed on included studies.

Results: The initial search generated 1249 studies. Application of inclusion and exclusion criteria and review of references yielded 15 single-intervention and 6 bundled-intervention studies. The single interventions included handwashing protocols, use of vancomycin powder, hair washing and clipping practices, and incision closure techniques. Bundled interventions addressed a variety of preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative changes. Despite a lack of strong evidence to support the adoption of statistically significant interventions, the use of vancomycin powder may be effective in reducing cSSI. In addition, bundled interventions that involved cultural changes, such as increased teaching/education, personal accountability, direct observation, and feedback, showed some success in decreasing SSI rates.

Conclusions: The strength of the conclusions is limited by small sample sizes, study heterogeneity, relatively low cSSI incidence, and high case variability. Some evidence supports the use of intraoperative vancomycin powder in adult noncranioplasty cases and the application of accountability, teaching, and surveillance of faculty, particularly those early in training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.137DOI Listing
April 2021

Medicare Physician Fee Reimbursement for Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty Has Not Kept Up with Inflation from 2002 to 2019.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 05;103(9):778-785

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

Background: As orthopaedic physician fees continue to come under scrutiny by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), there is a continued need to evaluate trends in reimbursement rates across contemporary time intervals. Although substantially lower work relative value units (RVUs) have been previously demonstrated for septic revision total knee arthroplasty (TKA) compared with aseptic revisions, to our knowledge, there has been no corresponding analysis comparing total physician fees. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to analyze temporal trends in Medicare physician fees for septic and aseptic revision TKAs.

Methods: Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes related to septic 1-stage and 2-stage revision TKAs and aseptic revision TKAs were categorized. From 2002 to 2019, the facility rates of physician fees associated with each CPT code were obtained from the CMS Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up Tool. Monetary data from Medicare Administrative Contractors at 85 locations were used to calculate nationally representative means. All total physician fee values were adjusted for inflation and were translated to 2019 U.S. dollars using Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cumulative annual percentage changes and compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) were computed utilizing adjusted physician fee data.

Results: After adjusting for inflation, the total mean Medicare reimbursement (and standard deviation) for aseptic revision TKA decreased 24.83% ± 3.65% for 2-component revision and 24.21% ± 3.68% for 1-component revision. The mean septic revision TKA total Medicare reimbursement declined 23.29% ± 3.73% for explantation and 33.47% ± 3.24% for reimplantation. Both the dollar amount (p < 0.0001) and the percentage (p < 0.0001) of the total Medicare reimbursement decline for septic revision TKA were significantly greater than the decline for aseptic revision TKA.

Conclusions: Septic revision TKAs have been devalued at a rate greater than their aseptic counterparts over the past 2 decades. Coupled with our findings, the increased resource utilization of septic revision TKAs may result in financial barriers for physicians and subsequently may reduce access to care for patients with periprosthetic joint infections.

Clinical Relevance: The devaluation of revision TKAs may result in reduced patient access to infection management at facilities unable to bear the financial burden of these procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.20.01034DOI Listing
May 2021

National analysis of COVID-19 and older emergency physicians.

Am J Emerg Med 2021 07 4;45:657-659. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.10.074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641536PMC
July 2021

Geospatial Distribution of Neurosurgeons Age 60 and Older Relative to the Spread of COVID-19.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 14;145:e259-e266. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: To perform an ecological study to analyze the geospatial distribution of neurosurgeons ≥60 years old and compare these data with the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the United States.

Methods: Data regarding distribution of COVID-19 cases were collected from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, and demographic statistics were collected from the American Association of Medical Colleges 2019 State Workforce Reports. These figures were analyzed using geospatial mapping software.

Results: As of July 5, 2020, the 10 states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases showed older neurosurgical workforce proportions (the proportion of active surgeons ≥60 years old) of 20.6%-38.9%. Among states with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, the older workforce proportions were 25.0%-43.4%. Connecticut demonstrated the highest with 43.4% of neurosurgeons ≥60 years old.

Conclusions: Regional COVID-19 hotspots may coincide with areas where a substantial proportion of the neurosurgical workforce is ≥60 years old. Continuous evaluation and adjustment of local and national clinical practice guidelines are warranted throughout the pandemic era.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7553865PMC
January 2021

Anesthesiologist age and workforce geography during the United States COVID-19 pandemic.

J Clin Anesth 2020 Dec 14;67:110043. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Critical Care Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2020.110043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490007PMC
December 2020
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