Background: Peripheral nerve surgery is one of the smallest neurosurgical subspecialties. It is hypothesized that the number of neurosurgeons performing these procedures has declined over the last decade due to many factors, including limited training opportunities and lower compensation relative to other subspecialties. Methods: Data for physicians who performed peripheral nerve surgical procedures (PNSPs) were obtained from the Medicare Provider Utilization Database and used to calculate the total number of procedures performed by physicians of each specialty for each year. The Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up Tool was used to determine reimbursement rates for the top 5 PNSPs for neurosurgeons, which were then adjusted for inflation using the U.S. Bureau of Labor's Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator. Results: From 2012 to 2019, the top 3 contributing specialties were orthopedic surgery, urology, and hand surgery. Both the percentage of PNSPs performed by neurosurgeons and the number of neurosurgeons performing PNSPs decreased. Between 2000 and 2020, the average reimbursement for the commonly identified codes 64721, 64718, 64722, and 64718 decreased, whereas the reimbursement for 64555 (implantation of peripheral nerve neurostimulator electrodes) increased. Conclusions: Despite an overall increase in number of PNSPs, the percentage of PNSPs performed by neurosurgeons decreased from 2012 to 2019. There was overall workforce exit among neurosurgical peripheral nerve specialists over time. From 2000 to 2020, the average reimbursement for most PNSPs has decreased. Further investigation is needed to establish factors contributing to these trends and how they may be mitigated.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Apr 2022|
- Peripheral nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology