Dr. James Arthur Sanfilippo and Dr. Kristen E. Radcliff Led New Jersey Spinal Fusion Discharge Volume with over 130 Discharges and Lowest SNF Discharge Rates Under 15% Each

By: Saparja Nag  Mar. 09, 2018

Dexur analysis recently determined that the top physicians performing spinal fusion (except cervical) procedures in New Jersey were Dr. James Arthur Sanfilippo and Dr. Kristen E. Radcliff for both the highest discharge volume and lowest SNF discharge rate. Dr. Sanfilippo performed the most spinal fusion except cervical procedures at 135 total discharges. Dr. Radcliff saw 132 discharges between 2013 and 2016. There were also four other physicians who discharged more than 100 spinal fusion patients between 2013 and 2016. Dr. Gino Chiappetta discharged 127, followed by Dr. Orin K. Atlas who had 125 cases. Dr. Nasser Ani ranked 5th overall with 122 discharges and Dr. George Salem Naseef ranked 6th with 114 discharges. In terms of SNF discharge rate, Dr. Sanfilippo and Dr. Radcliff far exceeded all other physicians as they were the only two physicians with rates under 20%. Dr. Sanfilippo's spinal fusion except cervical patients were only discharged to SNFs 12.1% of the time while Dr. Radcliff had a SNF discharge rate of 14.8%. The next lowest SNF discharge rate was 20.8% for Dr. Keith Michael Rinkus.

Physicians in this analysis had to have performed at least 11 discharges during the time period of January 2013 and December 2016 for the DRG analyzed; the focus here was DRG-460: Spinal Fusion Except Cervical Without Major Complication or Comorbidity. Although there are a total of 19 spinal DRGs, DRG-460 is the highest volume DRG included in diagnoses of the spine. During the same time period, there were 792,995 spinal discharges throughout the country and 311,222 of these discharges were further defined as DRG-460. Similarly 6,052, of the 17,205 total spinal discharges at the state level were classified as DRG-460. The next highest discharging DRG is DRG-473: Cervical Spinal Fusion without Complication or Comorbidity/Major Complication or Comorbidity. DRG-473 is DRG-460's counterpart in that both are spinal fusions without complications where DRG-473 is defined as cervical spinal fusions while DRG-460 is defined as spinal fusions not within the cervical region.

Dr. Sanfilippo performs the majority of his spinal procedures at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, while Dr. Radcliff primarily practices at AlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona. The 3rd highest discharging Dr. Chiappetta was associated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, while the 4th ranking Dr. Orin K. Atlas worked with Dr. Sanfilippo at Virtua Memorial Hospital. Dr. Nasser Ani practiced at Bayshore Community Hospital, and ranked 5th for discharge volume. Dr. Rinkus, who had the 3rd lowest SNF discharge rate between 2013 and 2016, was primarily associated with Riverview Medical Center. Morristown Medical Center's Dr. Scott Andrew Meyer and Dr. George Salem Naseef ranked 4th and 5th, respectively, for the state's lowest SNF discharge rates.


  1. Full ranking of New Jersey physicians who performed DRG-460 procedures between January 2013 and December 2016 by discharge volume, with SNF discharge rates

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Saparja Nag

Saparja is a healthcare journalist with a particular interest in how medicine can and should affect health policy. She has extensive experience as a health educator and research scientist in biochemistry. She also enjoys running, cooking elaborate meals, and then eating elaborate meals. Saparja received a Bachelors of Arts in Biochemistry from Vassar College.