Durham, N.C. — Duke University Health System and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) are teaming up in an effort to save money and enhance the standard of excellence in knee replacement surgeries under Duke’s nationally ranked orthopedic service. By seeking technological advances in care coordination and delivery, Duke’s care teams will perfect joint replacement services while working toward decreasing the cost of care.
The intention of this project is to replace the individual costs of each of the many services provided for a successful knee replacement with a single flat-fee proposed to cover everything affiliated with this event of care. Duke and its care teams will continue to attain the high quality efforts that have made them an enduring top 10 orthopedic service by U.S. News & World Report, while also administering the entire knee replacement surgery care within the flat-fee reimbursement.
“These kinds of efforts in new care models that help drive greater efficiencies while increasing quality will become more and more prevalent and clearly represent the future of health care delivery,” said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and CEO of Duke University Health System. “Duke is committed to being a leader in exploring new treatment models that achieve the triple aim of better access, higher quality and lower costs.”
This “bundled payment” project will encompass the entire knee replacement care range, including the pre-surgical period of 30 days before hospitalization, the surgery itself, and most follow-up care within 90 days after discharge from the hospital. This program became effective on Jan. 1, 2013, and will be available to BCBSNC members when knee replacement procedures are performed by Duke University physicians at Duke University Hospital or Durham Regional Hospital.
“Partnerships like this one are possible when hospitals, physicians and insurers commit to new ways of putting patients first by collaborating to improve quality and reduce costs,” said Lisa Cade, BCBSNC Vice President of Network Management.
David Attarian, M.D., medical director of musculoskeletal services and vice chair for orthopedic clinical operations at Duke said “This project is a great example of collaboration between providers and a payer to advance care, but it also provides more tangible ways to engage patients directly in optimally contributing to their successful outcomes.”