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Dr. Kevin Macadaeg, vice president of the Indiana Spine Group, talked about his group’s decision to build a 60,000-square foot medical office and “bioskills” lab in Carmel next year, as well as the group’s commitment to grow independently—in the face of pressures from hospital acquisitions and health reform.

IBJ: Describe how ISG doctors participate in developing medical device products. How will the bioskills lab in your new facility help you do more research and development work?

A: Our bioskills lab will include 10 cadaver work stations and areas conducive for research. The facility will feature a 65-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio/video capabilities connected to the operating rooms. Having a component of this lab dedicated to the advancement of spine procedural techniques and devices will be a huge asset for us. Members of our group hold approximately 10 patents on spinal implants and we are presently working on others. The majority of these devices are manufactured here in Indiana. I think it’s going to make a huge impact in us being able to create [new products]. Having one available to us will allow us to always bounce ideas off each other, try different things.

IBJ: Many physician groups are selling to or closely affiliating with one hospital system. Does ISG have any plans to do that? Why or why not?

A: Over the years, we’ve listened intently to the naysaying—that we cannot do anything without working with this or that group or hospital. Ironically, I am convinced that had we made such an affiliation, that we would not be going forward with this focused project. We would merely become engulfed in the system and forced to remain co-dependent under a massive umbrella, and the spine care that we practice would not be able to be brought up to the level of excellence that we envision. We presently do not have any intentions to affiliate with a hospital system. We wish to remain open to all hospital systems and let the patient drive the choice.

IBJ: So much in health care is changing, especially with the new health reform law. What are the biggest changes you expect to see in your field in the next five years?

A: The new health reform legislation is indeed quite ominous for physicians wanting to remain in private practice. Data collection on outcomes will be essential as well as cost-effective treatment of these patients. Hopefully, by being efficient in these areas, Indiana Spine Group can adapt. Personally, I did not go into medicine to become a glorified government worker. I am the last one to think that I could predict what our health care system is going to look like in five years but I can only hope that a major change has still yet to occur.

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