A Message from the ISASS Board of Directors and Past Presidents

Introduction of SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014
February 6, 2014
International Journal of Spine Surgery Update
February 6, 2014
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The current environment for spine surgeons and their patients is challenging. Downward pressure from payers on coverage and reimbursement for spinal surgeries is making it harder for patients to receive medically indicated surgical care and more difficult for surgeons to be fairly compensated for their skills and expertise. Even some of the procedures once considered the ‘standard of care’ are now being questioned.

We hear these stories every day from our members, and many of them wonder, who is representing us and our patients? Who is fighting to ensure that patients have access to the spine care they need? Who is advocating for patient access to newer, better technologies? We also hear that currently there is not one strong, unified voice of leadership within the surgical spine community, and that spine surgeons need to gather together with one strong voice to advocate for the profession and their patients.

ISASS is a society singularly focused on spinal surgery – from basic science to new therapies, from biomechanics to minimally invasive techniques, from research to advocacy. Our goal is to be an organization that represents all spine surgeons and advocates on their behalf.

  • We have developed evidence-based position statements supporting important spine surgery techniques, devices and therapies, and will continue to do so.
  • We have advocated with government and commercial payers for greater patient access to newer technologies and medically indicated surgeries.
  • We have increased our focus on coverage and reimbursement issues and strive to have a greater impact in support of our members and their patients.
  • Recently, we created a sister organization, International Advocates for Spine Patients, to support our advocacy efforts. Under the leadership of former ISASS and NASS President Tom Errico, MD, IASP brings together physicians, patients and the medical industry to advocate for high quality, widely accessible and cost effective spine care for patients around the world. The goal of IASP is to create a single, unifying voice with a consistent advocacy message for spine patients, spine surgeons. other medical professional’s and the medical device industry.
  • This summer it is expected that ISASS will have a seat at the table with representation in the AMA House of Delegates, which affords participation in AMA/CPT and AMA/Specialty Society Relative-Values Update Committee (RUC).

We are concerned that the current landscape of ‘divide and conquer’ doesn’t help our patients. We need to band together. We need ONE Advocacy voice – that of the surgeon – a voice that patients trust. ISASS wants to be the THE VOICE to help Patients and Surgeons in this tumultuous time of change.

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Our membership has grown by over 75%! We want you to join us in these efforts because together we can make a difference. Please join the society that truly strives to be the voice of the spine surgeons.

The ISASS Board of Directors and Past Presidents

ISASS Board of Directors

Luiz Pimenta, MD, Brazil

Incoming President/Treasurer
Gunnar B. J. Andersson, MD, PhD, USA

Michael Ogon, MD, Austria

Hee Kit Wong, MD, PhD, Singapore

Jeffrey Goldstein, MD, USA

Marek Szpalski, MD, Belgium

Immediate Past President
Steven Garfin, MD, USA

ISASS Past Presidents

Jean-Charles LeHuec, MD, France

Thomas Errico, MD, USA

Chun-Kun Park, MD, PhD, South Korea

Karin Büttner-Janz, MD, PhD, Germany

Hansen A. Yuan, MD, USA

Stephen Hochschuler, MD, USA Founding Member

Thierry Marnay, MD, France
Founding Member

Rudolf Bertagnoli, MD, Germany
Founding Member

(the late) Charles Ray, MD, USA
Founding Member