Laser Spine Institute
Tampa, FLConsumerAffairs Accredited Brand
We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offering a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery. Our outpatient procedures are performed in a state-of-the-art facility, using a less than 1-inch incision.
The staff was amazing. Everything went smooth. The doctors were excellent. I recommended Laser Spine to someone and they went down and had the surgery. It too, made their life so much better. They were very grateful. Life changing! Never had any pain when I came home. Thank you!
Back pain sneaks up on you, even the most debilitating pain. That's what I had suffered for many years. But when coupled with crippling sciatica I knew something had to be done. After discussions with orthopedic surgeons and being referred to a pain clinic and receiving two epidural steroid shots that did nothing, I talked to my primary care physician about Laser Spine Institute. She recommended that I do the preliminary consultation. Best advice. After two operations related to spinal stenosis, I am pain-free. I just played the first round of golf since the operation, pain-free. I love to paint landscapes outdoors and can now do that. Pain-free. Just those two simple words describe the results of working with the doctors, nurses and others at Laser Spine Institute. Should have done it years ago.
I had a cervical and Lumbar procedure at Laser Spine Institute over a year ago. The staff is very nice and helpful but my main complaint is you never really have a Doctor. You don't even know who the surgeon will be until they walk in right before they put you to sleep. Dr ** did my lumbar procedure and five days later Dr Zoltan ** did my cervical procedure. I think it would have been better to space the two out more.
My lower back did pretty good for about a year but then it got worse. My neck was giving me issues and I contacted LSI about a year after the procedure. I requested to speak to Dr ** but the nurse would not let me. I consider this unacceptable! Currently I am experiencing much neck pain and now my back seems as bad or worse than before the surgery. I'm very disappointed. I have a new cervical MRI scheduled and after it's done I will get a new lumbar MRI. I will be seeking alternatives to Laser Spine Institute. Not having a specific assigned physician is totally unacceptable. Please take this in consideration before dealing with LSI.
On May 19, 2018 I talked to Chad ** about surgery. At the time I went through the credit procedure and made a deposit of $250.00. I gave this thorough thought over the weekend and decided due to the cost and my age not to enter into this much debt at this time. I notified Chad ** on Monday May 22, 2018 that I was canceled for the time being and asked for a refund of my deposit. Several days later I sent an email requesting a refund. Chad ** has never answered my email nor refunded my deposit. My next step is to talk to someone at the BBB about this matter.
I read many reviews about Laser Spine Institute and while the surgical results were generally successful, by far the majority of concerns were about the unexpected extra billing. Regarding the surgical procedure, after reviewing the MRI results we were told by a rep that my wife was a good candidate for their services. They never asked for the actual MRI nor could we speak to a technician or doctor (all communication was thru a "Spine Care Consultant" who was very professional but was only a mouthpiece for others and could not answer any detailed questions). The other more invasive surgical option involves a more invasive procedure involving fusing the L5/S1 vertebrae with pins & screws due to a 50% shift in the alignment. After seeing the MRI and the significant alignment shift we do not see how this could be performed in a 1 inch incision.
Of course, after spending 3 days at their facility to further evaluate the severity of the problem, they would probably come to the same conclusion (of course, we would have to pay for all the additional tests and facility charges to tell us we would not be a candidate for their procedure). While this was a concern, the biggest concern was about the total charges for the procedure. I must start by saying that my wife is over 65 and had a Medicare Advantage plan which case Spine Institute doesn't seem to understand (they do not bill Medicare, they bill the insurance company) or would prefer not to deal with. In summary, their facility is not a Medicare approved facility so the patient must pay 100% of those costs. The consultant even told me that they have chosen not to get Medicare's approval because, if approved, they would only be paid pennies on the dollar and they will not accept that.
Regardless, I kept trying to pin down the costs and was quoted an out of pocket cost of $30K for a fusion procedure. They were never able to break down the cost between the physician and facility even though the physicians are in-network for my insurance company. If both physician and facility were in network my insurance coverage would have limited my cost to $325 or 1.08% of their quote. Needless to say, we will be going the other route where the procedure will be performed locally by a cooperating surgical team of an orthopedic (bone specialist) and neurosurgeon (nerve specialist) with a 1 night hospital stay. While others have said they do good work, I would be very careful in my working with them and pin down all aspects of the treatment, procedure and cost (Buyer Beware). When they get you in their limited facility locations you are at their mercy.
Everyone was courteous, and knowledgeable. I was treated as if I was a long time friend. I cannot say enough good things about Dr. **. He laid out what he was going to do, the risks involved, and expectant outcomes. There was no pressure to undergo the surgery.
From the beginning to the end they where exceptionally professional and I was in significant pain. Under their care the pain has all but disappeared. It does take time to recover but the results are more than I could have reasonably expected.
- 1,167,409 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
I can’t say enough about my experience at Laser Spine Institute in Cincinnati. From my first phone call with them all the way through their diligent post-surgery follow-ups, I dealt with the most caring and professional people imaginable. Of course, my procedure was a success and I’m feeling like a new person - I just wish I’d come to LSI sooner!
I went to a local hotel presentation for Laser Spine Institute. I was in terrible back pain. I was interviewed and told I was a candidate for their surgery and that my insurance (Aetna) would cover the entire cost. I asked several times, in subsequent telephone conversations before the surgery, and was assured that the procedure would be fully covered. It cost $30,000.
I flew to Tampa for the surgery. Dr ** performed the surgery. I awoke from the anesthesia with a bloody, bruised lip and nose. I was facing the floor, and saw blood on the floor. I asked the nurse what happened. He said they “had to turn me suddenly during the procedure”. And never explained why. He did apologize for the bloody nose and swollen lip. Recovery was painful. I had discs L3 and L4 worked on and Dr ** said he “removed some extra bone” from somewhere there. I was in more pain than previously. I spent most of my time in physical therapy or in bed for 8 weeks.
I called LSI to inform them that I had some strange loss of feeling and tingling in one foot and leg which I had never had before. They said this was a good sign (!). It didn’t go away for 8 years, and still does return some days. So this was an injury from the surgery, which did not in any way get rid of the original pain and problem(s). To add insult to injury, Aetna refused the claim, saying it was experimental. I had to claim I was “improving”. Laser spine told me this was essential. So my records with them will show “steady improvement”. They avoided the insurance issue. I had to pay
$30,000 out of my pocket!!! With a lot of hard work and a lot of physical therapy, I have improved my back problems. I still have incidents where my back “goes out” for days or weeks, just as it did before LSI. But I’m slowly recovering from their terrible care. Be very aware of these people. Get in writing that your claim is covered. Do anything else before you have surgery with them. Try physical therapy. Try massage. Try anything. But not LSI.
All the glowing reviews here make me suspicious. The two people from my day of surgery, whom I stayed in contact with for awhile, were worse after LSI. I wonder if this truthful review will even be posted. 9 years later, I see them when I see their commercials on TV. I want my $30,000! They never cared, lied to me and I was not helped by them. Background note — I am an otherwise healthy person, low weight, athletic leaning, vegetarian, careful with all dietary things, don’t smoke or drink. I can finally walk several miles again. I wish I never heard of Laser Spine Institute.
I appreciate what was done for me by the wonderful staff at Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and that I was able to get back to my active life so quickly. I didn't appreciate the 10 day delay in my treatment just because I was being tested for TB through my employer, knowing that I was not infected. That put undue stress on my situation and kept me from getting my full paycheck while in recovery. I am feeling awesome and I recommend Laser Spine Institute to everyone who asks.
When we contacted LSI (Oklahoma City) about my husband's neck surgery, they sounded very promising. We sent them a copy of his MRI and they said he was a candidate for their minimally invasive surgery through the back of the neck. They initially told us it would cost $22,500 because he didn't have insurance. Then they came back and said it would be $15,500 because he got a self-pay discount. Great! We paid our $250 deposit to get started, made the hotel arrangements, took a week off of work, packed up the dog and traveled by car out of state to have this surgery.
First day of pre-op went well, 2nd day they dropped a bomb on us. They said they couldn't do the initial surgery but could do a disc replacement surgery through the front of his neck, near his vocal cords and the cost jumped to $32,500. We told them we had to think about it. They said they needed an answer by 4pm. That gave us 3 hours to decide. We went back to the hotel shocked, trying to figure out if we could afford the new cost, do the surgery, don't do the surgery.
I called them back and asked them what had changed from when they saw the MRI to today? If they had this MRI before we ever left home why did the surgery change? The administrator couldn't give me an answer. We felt like they tricked/trapped us into traveling there, knowing we were desperate for help and figured since we were already there with a hotel and our dog that we would just pay. Then they called back and said they would do the surgery for $20,400!! What? Ok, but who does this much price haggling on surgery?
We decided to do the surgery but had to wait until Monday. That gave us all weekend to really think about all we have been through with them. The decision never set well with either of us all weekend. Yes, the price was concern, but our biggest problem was the change in surgery. They never got a new MRI only new x-rays, so why the change? It all just felt really shady/shifty; just wanted more money. Monday morning we cancelled the surgery, packed up the dog and came home. It's been a week since we left and we haven't heard a thing from them. We are so disappointed with the whole process!
I have low back and leg pain, saw their ADs on TV and looked into it. From the start they quoted me $8750 out of pocket surgery price. I gave them my credit card for the $250 for nurses consultation fee; the 40 minute consult phone call was to be made the following morning. In the mean time I called my insurance and they warned me that since LSI was non-preferred they could Balance Bill me (Google it). I called LSI right back and asked about that. All of a sudden my estimate rose to 15K when I balked, they came back at 13K. I promptly canceled my consultation call and asked for a credit on my credit card - all of this happened within one day.
I asked for the credit back 3 times over the last couple of weeks. All I received back were emails saying I needed to fill out and sign my paperwork. That was until today via email they told me the $250 was non-refundable even though I never received the nurse consultation service. Even though I canceled the service and the call, the nurse still called that next morning and I told her I canceled the call and I was surprised that so-and-so hadn't informed her.
I called my credit card company today and am challenging the charge. I've archived/printed all the exchange of emails. It's the principle; it may cost me a lot more than $250 but I will fight this charge all the way to small claims court if necessary. One huge question you should ask yourself before getting involved with this company; if this kind of surgery is so ground breaking why don't top notch prestigious research/treatment clinics-hospital-surgery centers like John Hopkins or The MAYO Clinic perform these type of surgeries?!
Lumbar surgery - Slowly getting better! Only 4 weeks after surgery and things are good. My back still feels weak but I can walk again. I know it's early but I have been suffering 4 long years with terrible pain in my right leg, hip. Now I am up and walking. Hope it lasts.
I am placing this review so that others in great pain will know not to trust the Laser Spine Institute. In desperate pain after fusion of c5 and c6, I contacted LSI for a 2nd opinion for fusions of c3-c7. I have been seeing a Neurosurgeon, been to physical therapy, and tried injections. The LSI representative asked for my latest MRI and my insurance information, which I provided.
I received a call back 4 days letting me know that I needed 5 surgeries (they think) and my insurance would pay for most of the procedures. If I had this done in FL it would be $9000+ out of pocket or I could go to OH or MO and pay $1000+ out of pocket. This confused me and I was told that different States have different out of pocket maximums for out of network providers. At this point I called my Insurance company, BCBS of GA. They told me that no one had called to verify my benefits except for myself within the last 15 days. Be warned... LSI is a scam, minimally invasive surgery and back to work in a few days... too good to be true. Go to a real Dr.
A friend who had surgery at LSI several years ago, told me that if one can pay he is automatically qualified to have surgery at LSI. False! I was all prepped to have surgery on 4/16/18, and met with the surgeon on 4/13/18, and he admitted that he could not correct my instability. I appreciated his honesty and walked out like a dog with his tail between his legs. Being back to square one, is better than going through a surgical procedure and not being the beneficiary of expected results. At the risk of misspelling his name, it was Dr. **, of Hungarian descent. ** and ** (most likely misspelled).
I contacted LSI after my last MRI for degenerate disc disease. I have suffered with severe pain for 13 years now. They called me a week later and told me I needed to have surgery for 2 bulging discs and a compressed nerve. I live near Atlanta and they told me I would have to go to Cincinnati. So after talking with a nurse to go over all my history, I spoke with a lady in scheduling who told me exactly when surgery would be. So my husband and I drove 7 hours thinking that I am finally going to feel better.
We had to arrive 4 days early for different appointments. On day 2 the doctor came in and very rudely told me that there was nothing he was willing to do surgically. We were stunned. That was the whole reason we came because they told me I was going to have surgery and get better. With me in tears we went back to the hotel and tried to call someone who had some authority to complain to and they told my husband he wasn't going to be transferred to any person higher up in the company. There was no one he could talk to. Please if you are thinking about going there... Research it, look up all the reviews, call your insurance. Do everything you need to before you make your decision. Maybe you will have better luck.
Laminotomy/Foraminotomy/Decompression (LFD) - As a patient from Canada who was suffering from chronic back pain for more than 9 months, the Laser Spine Institute made an amazing difference in my life. I was suffering from a herniated disk in my spine which was pressing on my sciatic nerve. This caused limited mobility, intense pain in my left leg and sometimes in my lower back. In the last few weeks, I was unable to walk. One day I was watching TV and I saw a commercial for the Laser Spine Institute. Desperate to relieve my back pain, I called them and immediately started my life-changing experience.
Within 3 days, my surgery was scheduled in Cleveland, the closest American city from where I live. From the moment I arrived till the moment I left, the staff was incredible. They were unbelievably helpful, professional, caring and informative. I want to thank Dr. Brad **, my surgeon who completely relieved my back pain, and his staff: Rick, Eric, Rosemarie, Windy, Lori, Jessica and Brandy, and every other staff member who helped me along my journey. Without the Laser Spine Institute, I would still be living with chronic back pain. It has been 4 weeks since my surgery, and I feel like I never even had any pain to begin with. My experience was life changing, thank you!
I was very dissatisfied with Laser Spine. First of all, This was my 4th back surgery. Had small herniation at L4, this time, after surgery rest of disc herniated out. This is not the place for big procedures or issues. 3 months later big more invasive surgery (Different place of course). Did you know with each surgery and hardware you can obtain more permanent nerve damage. Yep, have that now too! Chronic pain and now have SCS. But even bigger complaint. 2yrs later got a bill said insurance hadn’t paid in full. Asking for $1100. Be careful if they are out of your PPO, or whatever they promise you in pre-surgery financial meeting, they tell you they’ll write extra off, it’s all covered, but then they don’t. I’ve even been told my balance was 0. Good to go, only 8 months later to get yet another bill. How long can they go forward billing! Should I call my lawyer? They have a dept for everything, it feels like an assembly line. Think twice.
I have had cervical pain for several years and have done as many non intrusive treatments as possible to include acupuncture, physical therapy, pain medications, injections, steroids, massage, etc. Nothing helped and I was in a ton of pain. My husband and I saw an ad for Laser Spine Institute, and I sent them my information just to see what would happen. I was deemed an appropriate candidate, and went ahead with the consultation despite my respected pain management physician telling me not to have anything to do with this clinic. I wish I would have listened to him, but I was so desperate to be out of pain. I talked to a care specialist, who assured me several times that we would pay nothing more than the procedure cost of $2,400.00, with the deposit of $250.00. I called my insurance company, was informed that they were out of network and would only pay 40%.
I called the care specialist after hearing this (as the insurance company had no records that LSI called them to check benefits, even though they had told me they had), and she again reassured me that all we would be responsible for was the $2,400.00, that they would "eat" the cost that insurance did not cover as they were trusting their estimates on what would be covered. So, we made travel arrangements, made sure our childcare was covered for the week we would be gone, and took off from work. We traveled all the way to Florida. The first three days were all testing, mostly injections that were supposed to simulate what it might feel like following the surgery. There was a lot of sitting around and waiting, but we expected that as we were there for that. The staff, facility and doctors were all very kind and caring, and I felt taken care of. The hotel on the campus was also nice. I was super hopeful.
The day before the surgery we met with the financial person, who sat down with us and again reassured us that the $2,400.00 she was collecting would be all that would be owed. I am a doctor and bill insurance on a daily basis, so I really wanted to make sure this was all on the up and up and clarified multiple times with everyone. My husband and I both understood this was all we were to pay. The day before the surgery we met with a surgeon who was abrasive and wouldn't answer our questions, or listen to us at all. He simply said I wasn't a candidate and got up and walked out. We expressed our confusion and surprise to the nurse, and were then given a different doctor who went over what he saw as our options. I was assigned to Dr. ** for the actual surgery, and that was confirmed for two days later. We extended our trip. I was hopeful.
The morning of the surgery we met Dr. ** for the first time and he was funny, personable and very talented. The nurses were kind, got the IV in the first time, and we were treated well. The recovery was great -- who wouldn't want to recover next to a pool in Florida? I was in no pain for the first time in years, and I was surrounded by other people who had all had surgery and were feeling no pain as well. We made it home, and in a few weeks the surgical ** and medications all wore off and now I was back in pain. A different pain, but still a ton of pain. I had some right to left range of motion back, but I could no longer look up and down. I let the spine line know, but was told to take huge amounts of **, physical therapy, not to move my head during the day (?!?) and to call back in 7-10 days. Well, at the end of that 10 days I received a bill for $39,600.00.
I was surprised, but figured it was because all of the insurance had not come through or they had not forgiven everything yet, as had been promised. So I let it sit. Two weeks later I received another bill stating that payment was due upon receipt. So I called LSI to discuss this with them, sure it was just a mistake. I was told that my insurance only paid 40% (yes, I know that, that's why I confirmed beforehand this would not be an issue), and that I had to pay the other 60%, which, coincidentally was only $400.00 less than what my out of pocket maximum is for out of network facilities. Hmmm... So I explained my situation, told her that I had been told over and over again by multiple people that this was all I would have to pay, and that I would not be paying this bill. She told me not paying was my right, but that she would investigate by going through the emails and recorded phone calls.
So far she has gone through the emails and states she sees nothing that promises the $2,400.00 would be the only thing I would have to pay. I have no idea what she is going to "hear" on the phone call recordings, but I know darn well I was crystal clear because we could have stayed here and had traditional surgery for free (having met our deductible already for the year). So now I am waiting for them to resolve this, am hoping for the best, but do not have high hopes. It's too bad because the staff and surgeon were very kind, but the billing practices, aftercare follow through and deception suck. I would never, ever recommend this place to anyone due to their deception. This is not how you run a business or treat people who are in pain and looking for resolution.
I only have good things to say about Laser Spine Institute! They helped me when I couldn't get physicians near me to listen. They worked me every step of the way and I will never forget all they did to help me!
I went to LSI Cleveland after the recommendation from a USMC veteran. I am also prior service active duty Marine. I read the reviews, some good and some bad, but took my source into consideration. I had X-rays and an MRI in early November of 2017 and surgery at L4/L5 in December of 2017. My first indication that I was going to have problems was when I was told my surgery in Ohio would be $12,000 but if I went to Philadelphia it would be $1,200. Their explanation was it was due to "insurance" differences state to state and it sounded convincing. I went to Philadelphia for their "5 Day Experience". Most of the 5 days I spent in the waiting room with the appointment times behind in several instances for hours.
Two physicians, I had direct contact with at LSI PA were downright abrasive. I complained to staff in PA who said they would address my concerns with managers. I did receive one follow-up phone call who told me one of the physicians "was no longer with the company". My surgery resolved one pain I had but created a new pain that I didn't have prior to my surgery. It's been over 8 weeks now and I've made several phone calls to discuss my symptoms with the "Spine Line". Twice they prescribed medications that had no noticeable effect on my pain. I requested a follow-up evaluation to discuss the new onset of symptoms and LSI CLE requested I have another set of x-rays done and another MRI. It was reviewed (very briefly) by the surgeon at LSI CLE who said he saw nothing "new" and recommended I see a pain management doctor for this new pain.
The scheduling staff came back, wrote my name on a scrap piece of paper with my phone number and said they would call me to set up and appointment. After a week with no communication from LSI I called to see what the status of my referral was. LSI took 2 more days to call me back to tell me the scheduling staff member was "off sick" and didn't schedule my referral appointment. MY experience with LSI was not a positive experience. It was frustrating and stressful from start to finish. The procedure did solve one pain but it caused another pain in my opinion. LSI referring me now to another physician, to me, means they are unwilling to attempt to diagnose or treat the symptoms they caused.
Their marketing is great. Their service and delivery on those marketing promises are lacking. The insurance billing is deceptive at best but that practice is shared with the insurance companies. I'm guessing I will see some huge medical bills start to trickle in any day now. I can deal with those I guess as I try to find another physician to try to address my back problem - the new one I have included. I certainly CANNOT recommend using Laser Spine Institute to anyone.
I am 11 weeks post op and I still have some issues with my back and the Doctor responses is that I probably need to go more surgery which sucks. The worst part is that I was led to believe that my insurance was going to cover all and came to realize later that it was billed under out of network which has way less coverage and that every little service I got at LSI, I received a huge bill for it as well. I feel so stupid to have fallen into that. I should have demanded a an approximate cost for the surgery and cost for services related. Even though, at some point they mentioned out-of network, I had little knowledge how that works and today I have a huge bill that it is going to be almost impossible to pay off. They told me that it is what it is and that is a normal practice to get charged for everything. The worst part is that this did not address my problem nor help me, yet LSI they wanted me to come for more test, etc. and pay them more money.
Because they are out of network, they can charge anything they want. For example, the brace they give you after the surgery it is price $3200??? Wth? They also charged me for initial doctor setup $400, and so forth. I also had a couple of issues with the intake that caused me some headaches. Perhaps, the most noticeable was the day before of the surgery where we met with the admin person who was very rude. We were almost ready to walk out of there but for some reason we decided to continue. People should be provided with an approximate cost of services including the surgery which I was never provided one. Today, I regret my decision, not only I did not get better but I have a huge bill to pay.
I was treated with ultimate care. This was my 2nd operation with Laser LSI. As a result I can function without pain. The LSI staff Sped up my surgery schedule so that my insurance would cover the cost of the procedure. WE are spreading the word in our community of LSI.
The reason for myself and my attending partner Hedy as nurse to attend LSI Tampa was due to the fact that Canada do not have Laser surgery (non invasive) available in Canada and the wait for 'open' surgery is 12-18 months in Nova Scotia. On arrival we were so impressed, first with the building and then by the attentive staff. Every sequence was checked and double checked to avoid any mistakes. The whole procedure in definite steps was first class including the 'Clean Wipes' for the evening before surgery and again on the day of surgery to avoid any contamination.
Surgery by Dr. Jon ** was perfect, just six small holes in my back and one hour after waking up I walked out of the building to the Garden Hilton next door. Since returning home we have had 7 follow ups from LSI and in each case giving information as to what I might try next e.g. the last call suggested I tried the gym using certain items there to build up muscle etc. Both myself and Hedy have only the very best to tell our friends of the success we had at the LSI and we certainly recommend anyone with back/spine pain to at least contact LSI and get more information. Again, thank you for all you have done to put me back on my feet! Wonderful.
I went to Laser Spine with debilitating pain in my lower back that radiated down my left leg. It has been 3 months since my surgery and I am 96 percent pain free. I'm sure as I continue to heal even that number will improve. I would highly recommend LSI to anyone who has severe back pain to at least go for the consultation. It has definitely improved my quality of life. I am a 65 yr old female.
From the initial consultation, through the whole process of pre-surgery through to the end including the post checks of progress was amazing. I could not have asked for or received anything better or of higher caliber treatment. Dr. ** who performed the surgery was amazing along with all the nurses and surgical staff. The office staff from walking into the reception area to the last visit there were also caring and so helpful. Thank you for being able to walk out of surgery with both disc surgeries pain free.
I retired as a firefighter/paramedic in 2010 after 34 years because of back pain. As the years went by, the pain increased. I would take pain killers to relieve the pain, but they made me extremely tired. I went to several local doctors and was told to bear the pain as long as I could and then they would do open back surgery. There was no guarantee the pain would be better after the surgery and the side effects were overwhelming to me.
My wife and I went on a tropical vacation in 2016 with friends and it was a disaster for me. A five hour flight left me in excruciating pain, even with the tropical sunshine I was miserable for the whole vacation because of my back pain. When we got home my wife saw your commercial on TV and she immediately went on your website to see if I was a candidate for the surgery and submitted the application. Less then an hour later, your representative, Rob ** called to speak to me. Rob was with us from that phone call to having the surgery scheduled at St. Louis Laser Spine Institute answering all our questions. The surgery was a huge success and I had immediate pain relief!!! THANK YOU!!!
The girl on the phone made the institute sound like a miracle waiting to happen. She spent a full 20-30 minutes telling me what wonderful results I would have. She said they had reviewed my documents and determined that I was eligible for the surgery. By this time I couldn't WAIT to surgery. It was at this time when I was thoroughly excited and probably would have signed anything when she chose to tell me that, by the way, "you are personally responsible for the FACILITY FEE for ***$18,000***. The fee for use of the hospital." Insurance does not cover it. I was shocked and appalled.
What were my options? To have the surgery in the parking lot? I have had numerous other surgeries in my 64 years and never, EVER was I hit with this ridiculous fee. I told her what I thought of this outrageous fee and my belief that a good part of that money goes directly to Laser Spine Institue. Particularly when I read here of several different fee amounts being charged. Needless to say, I did not go any further. If this review does not appear I will be surfacing on as many social internet sites as possible to let potential patients know just what is ACTUALLY involved. Buyer Beware.
I can't say enough good about laser spine institute in Cleveland, Ohio. I was leery but when they told me I was a candidate and would go through testing to make sure the surgery was successful, I thought... what did I have to lose. The people are so considerate and treat you like they care, not like a number. Each individual testing area had a person or 2 that focused on you and took their time and listened to your issues. I was very comfortable and they understood my fears. We stayed at Staybridge hotel which is right around the corner from the institute and it was fantastic as well.
The whole experience was A+++ and I would do it all over again if need be. Very successful and my pain of 35 years is now gone. A 1" incision at my L4 5 and I walked out of there 4 hours after surgery. I have told several people about it and hope they take my advice because this place is great. My pain is GONE. All I can say is Thank you. It is going to be so nice to be able to ride my horse pain free. Thanks for giving me back my passion to ride.
My experience started with a salesman, who ended up telling us that a $10,000 upfront deposit was needed to get started based on my insurance, and if they paid the full amount, it would be refunded. I had Blue Cross Blue Shield, a very good insurance plan, and he said this number was based on what similar plans had paid previously. This seemed very odd to me because it was good insurance and I had never had a medical facility need a large deposit up front before.
I was desperate though, living with severe back pain for 7-8 years after herniating a disc in my lumbar, and really wanted to believe in the commercials (you know the ones that have the guy running down the beach a few weeks after surgery). I was living off of $11 an hour and already covered up in medical bills and student loans, but was able to borrow the money from a sympathetic family member, so I set up the appointment, got a plane ticket, and flew to Florida.
At the facility I was given some consultation, a shot in my back that was supposed to resemble the results of surgery, and was suggested the surgical procedure the following day. Before leaving we had to go to the financial office, where they informed me that the deposit was non-refundable no matter what the insurance company paid. I felt cornered. Was I to head home, to a certain life of misery and pain, or spend the next 5-10 years paying off the debt with a chance of living a normal life again? I chose the latter option, signed the paperwork, and scheduled the surgery for the next day.
The procedure itself was quick and immediately left me in no more pain than I had already been living in for years. Within a week or so I began experiencing pains in my body I had never felt before. I walked around feeling like I had been kicked in the groin and would get sharp pains in my upper back (an area that had never been in pain before). Several weeks had gone by and I would receive follow up calls asking about my progress, at which point I would mention all of the above. They would brush it off telling me I just needed to give it more time, and consider physical therapy, something that had never been mentioned before this point. What happened to a couple weeks and getting my life back?
It has now been several years. I wake up every morning with severe arthritis throughout my entire back. I have substantially worse pain than I had before the surgery. My insurance paid the entire bill. I was obviously never refunded the $10,000. I am still paying off the debt. I would suggest to anyone thinking about surgery through The Laser Spine Institute to proceed with caution, get other opinions, and don't be as naive as I was when watching the commercials.
My wife has scoliosis and went to Laser Spine in Oklahoma city. Got told that her back surgery was too extensive for them and they referred us to another doctor. They kept ensuring my wife that her back pain can be fixed and not to give up. But rather than go where they referred us I searched for someone with experience and reviews to prove it. Took her to Saint Louis and found out that Laser Spine is in fact only chiropractors and they were completely wrong in what they told us. That in fact she would need to have her back broken and reconstructed to fix the pain she is currently having and in doing so would in turn cause her pain in other places. So all Laser Spine did was give her false hope only to shatter that hope when she was seen by a real surgeon not to mention the time and money they cost us in travel. If you need your back realigned go see them. If you need surgery go to a surgeon.
BE WARNED!! I met with Dr. Michael ** in Miami to review my imaging for continued back pain that I have been having from a past surgery. He reviewed my imaging and assured me LSI can help. I met with Keith **, his insurance coordinator, and they reviewed my PPO policy in detail. I was GUARANTEED after reviewing my policy that they would do diagnostics and if they didn't have a surgical solution, I would ONLY be responsible to pay $400, unless I went for surgery, where my insurance would pay 50% out of network benefits. I asked twice regarding the $400. I agreed, drove to Tampa, stayed for several days, and was released without any surgical solution.
I was met with coordinator who discharged me and was assured again I'm only responsible for $400. Since then, I have been getting invoices every two weeks for $2500, constant calls, and offers to pay at a discount. I feel completely taken advantage of and I find LSI's business practices completely unethical. Hiring an attorney to disputed.