SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 26, 2016—Kimon Bekelis, MD, a cerebrovascular/endovascular fellow at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and instructor of health policy at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, received two awards at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Annual Meeting in San Diego.
The CNS announced Dr. Bekelis as one of three recipients of the 2016-17 CNS Innovation Fellowship during the opening General Scientific Session. Granted through NICO Corporation, OsteoMed, and Synaptive, the CNS Innovation Fellowship supports future neurosurgical educators in pursuit of new training modalities, including the development of neurosurgical simulators, novel web-based technologies, or other surgical training innovations.
“The CNS Innovation Fellowship is essential for the advancement of neurosurgery and emblematic of our commitment to education, innovation, and the future of our specialty,” said Dr. Ricardo J. Komotar, MD, CNS Fellowship Committee Chair. The fellowship is appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. The fellow will spend 12 months under the direction of a specific sponsor on a defined project as relevant to training.
Dr. Bekelis was also granted the Sam Hassenbusch Young Neurosurgeon’s Award for his abstract Does Ranking of Surgeons in a Publicly Available Online Platform Correlate with Objective Outcomes? The work investigates the association of the publicly reported physician complication rates in an online platform with real-world adverse outcomes of the same physicians for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion. A cohort study was undertaken involving physicians performing posterior lumbar fusions from 2009 to 2013 who were registered in the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) database. This cohort was merged with publicly available data over the same time period from ProPublica, a private company. Using a mixed-effects multivariable regression model, the results demonstrated that publicly reported physician level complication rates were not associated with the rate of discharge to a facility and hospital charges. Similarly, no association was observed when utilizing propensity score-adjusted models and when restricting the cohort to a predefined subgroup of Medicare patients. After merging a comprehensive all-payer posterior lumbar fusion cohort in New York State with data from the ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard over the same time period, no association of publically available physician complication rates with objective outcomes was observed.
Dr. Bekelis is currently a cerebrovascular/endovascular fellow at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and is also an instructor of health policy at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Athens Medical School he spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, focusing on observational studies. Subsequently, he completed his residency training in neurosurgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He has lead several projects focusing on outcome predictive modeling, resource utilization, regional disparities, diffusion of innovation, intensity of care, workforce allocation, medicolegal issues, shared-decision making, and cost. He is experienced working with Medicare data, as well as multiple other national, multipayer, administrative databases, and registries.
Dr. Bekelis is the author of over 100 peer reviewed journal publications, and 10 book chapters. He has developed two software applications for mobile platforms on risk and cost prediction for a variety of surgical procedures. He has received funding support from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Hitchcock Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. He recently led the research team that produced the Dartmouth Atlas report on the diffusion of novel cerebral aneurysm treatments. He also directed the creation of an interactive online platform that allows the comparison of diffusion of health care technology metrics, and facilitates the collaboration of multiple researchers.
In the last few years, he has received several national and international awards including the Dandy Award, the Scoville award, the Robert Florin award, and the Stroke care in emergency medicine award. Dr. Bekelis has been an active member of the neurosurgical community, with over 60 presentations in national and international meetings. He has been a member of numerous committees in organized neurosurgery, focusing on quality improvement, national guideline review and development, the national neurosurgery outcomes registry, and the Washington Committee. He was most recently elected as the 2016 American College of Surgeons Health Policy Scholar.