Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Medicare, NYU, Orthopedics / 04.03.2016 Interview with: Richard Iorio, MD Dr. William and Susan Jaffe Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Chief of the Division of Adult Reconstructive Surgery NYU Langone Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Iorio: NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery realized early that alternate payment strategies based on value rather than volume were going to be increasing in prevalence and represent the future of compensation strategies  As leaders in orthopaedics, we knew that we must embrace this change and develop strategies and effective protocols to successfully navigate this alternative payment universe. In 2011, NYU Langone’s Hospital for Joint Diseases was chosen as a pilot site for CMS’s Bundled Payment Care Initiative, focusing on Medicare patients undergoing a total joint replacement. Beginning in 2013, we implemented protocols developed at our hospital focusing on preoperatiive patient selection criteria in an effort to ensure better outcomes for Medicare patients who underwent total joint replacements. Under a bundled payment program, hospitals assume financial responsibility for any complications over the entire episode of care 90 days after surgery, including postsurgical infections and hospital readmissions. We compared year over year outcomes from year 1 to year 3 of this program, and found:
  • Average hospital length of stay decreased from 3.58 days to 2.96 days;
  • Discharges to inpatient rehabilitation or care facilities decreased from 44 percent to 28 percent;
  • Average number of readmissions at 30 days decreased from 7 percent to 5 percent; from 11 percent to 6.1 percent at 60 days; and from 13 percent to 7.7 percent at 90 days;
  • The average cost to CMS of the episode of care decreased from $34,249 to $27,541 from year one to year three of the program.