Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2020, Page: 9-14
Treatment of Spinal Deformities - The Appearance of a Conflict of Interest
Hans Rudolf Weiss, Schroth Best Practice Academy, Abtweiler, Germany
Received: Apr. 11, 2020;       Accepted: Apr. 24, 2020;       Published: May 28, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.hep.20200501.12      View  79      Downloads  38
The majority of patients with spinal deformities need some type of treatment. Typically, physiotherapy and bracing are sufficient and a minority of cases require surgical treatment. However, in many international papers on spinal deformities surgical issues are investigated while conservative management of spinal deformities is definitively underrepresented. The purpose of this survey is to look more deeply into the implications of the surgical societies and spine surgeons lobbyism on the payroll of industry and how these groups influence payments (reimbursement) made by national health services or health insurance systems worldwide for the treatments of patients with spinal deformities. Materials and methods: An international network of specialists for the conservative treatment of spinal deformities have performed a survey analyzing the cost of spinal surgery for spinal deformities (scoliosis), the cost of a brace and whether insurance/the NHS reimbursement applies with surgery or bracing. Results: In most countries surgery is paid without co-payments by the patient. In Japan, China and Ukraine co-payments are necessary for surgery. There are more restrictions when looking at payments for braces. In some countries, braces are not covered by the health care systems or insurance companies at all (China, Indonesia) in others the amount covered is only minimal (Turkey, Ukraine). Conclusions: Evidence in scientific literature is not reflected in the political decision making in parliaments. Evidence based treatment approaches for patients with spinal deformities are not necessarily reimbursed by local health care systems while surgery without scientific evidence is reimbursed more easily although it is more expensive. The most economic approach would be to pay for high quality conservative treatment in order to largely prevent the need for surgery. Surgical indications should be approved by an independent non-surgical specialist for spinal deformites.
Spinal Deformities, Treatment, Surgery, Orthotics, Cost of Treatment
To cite this article
Hans Rudolf Weiss, Treatment of Spinal Deformities - The Appearance of a Conflict of Interest, International Journal of Health Economics and Policy. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2020, pp. 9-14. doi: 10.11648/j.hep.20200501.12
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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