NASS On Spine

July 10, 2018

Q&A With Philip Schneider, MD

1. What is your hometown and where do you currently live?

I was born in Washington DC, which may be why I have advocacy in my blood. My father was an Army physician so we lived in different places. After training, I returned back to the DC area.

2. What is your educational background?

I went to undergrad at the University of Maryland an am a diehard Terp fan. I also currently serve on the University of Maryland Board of Trustees. I went to Howard University Medical School and did my orthopedic residency there as well. My spine fellowship was at the Hospital for Joint Diseases.

3. Tell us a little bit about your practice/specialty …

I am in private practice with The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. We are the largest independent orthopaedic practice in the US with 175 orthopaedic surgeons. We merged 30 groups together about four years ago to create a fully integrated health care company in order to better navigate through the changes in health care. I am a Vice President and serve as the chair of the Quality Committee which oversees our MACRA involvement, bundled payments and clinical guidelines. I also am the Medical Director of the Holy Cross Hospital Spine Center.

4. How long have you been a NASS member and why did you join?

I have been a NASS member since 1988 when I was a spine fellow. My program director was Neil Kahanovitz who became a NASS President. Neil dragged me into NASS at an early stage of my career.

5. As the new director of NASS’ Advocacy Council, what are your goals for the group? What are the biggest challenges?

As Director of the Advocacy Council, my goal is to ensure that NASS can positively influence legislation in the US in order to provide the highest quality care for our spine patients. One of our biggest challenges is to grow SpinePAC. Only about 5% of our members contribute to SpinePAC. So, please everyone that is reading this, please contribute to SpinePAC.

6. You were recently nominated to chair a CMS committee looking at costs for specific spine procedures. What have you done in your own practice in regards to bundling spine procedures costs/care that might be helpful for spine providers to learn about?

I am serving as a co-chair for a CMS committee developing cost measures for spinal fusions. In my own practice, we are working with the private payors to form various orthopedic bundles. Maryland has a unique global payment model, and we are working to form bundles with the state as well.

7. Social media is becoming more prevalent every day in our world. Do you use social media at all professionally and if so, which platforms do you prefer?

We do use social media. With the large size of our practice, we have the resources to hire social media consultants and marketing companies to manage our digital presence. We also survey and report quality measures.

8. What is your opinion of the way the health care industry is currently covered in the media?

Health care is not well covered in the media. Unfortunately, there are some outlier health care companies and physicians which attract much negative attention. The Advocacy Council will also work to better inform the media about the needs of our spine patients.

9. What do you do for relaxation in your down time (example: hobbies, sports, travel)?

I love the outdoors. I ski in the winter and am a boater in the summer. Luckily, we are close to the Chesapeake Bay and use it every weekend. Our family vacations for the past 20 years have been boating up and down the Atlantic Coast.
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