Data from a study published online in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research suggest that a fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement system may encourage practitioners to engage in more costly or invasive procedures compared to a non-FFS system. 

The researchers reviewed information on 28,344 patients who were surgically treated for lumbar disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis, 21,290 of whom were treated in an FFS environment and 7,054 of whom were treated in U.S. Department of Defense facilities. They found that patients treated for disc herniation or spinal stenosis in an FFS setting were more likely to receive interbody fusion, but they found no difference in likelihood of interbody fusion across cohorts for patients with a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis. Learn more...

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