Hackensack Meridian Health’s orthopedic surgeons are transforming the Network’s approach to orthopedic care through their participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. In the program’s second performance year, Hackensack Meridian Health and its participating surgeons saved $7.65 million among their Medicare joint replacement patients bringing their total program savings to more than $10 million. The CJR program was created to foster better and efficient care among Medicare patients receiving a hip or knee replacement. In addition to saving millions of dollars, six of Hackensack Meridian Health’s hospitals posted above average quality scores.
Of the estimated $7.65 million in savings, Hackensack Meridian Health will receive back approximately $3.59 million, half of which will be distributed to its participating surgeons for them to invest in furthering patient care. Under the guidance and direction of its orthopedic surgeons, Hackensack Meridian Health was able to enhance its total joint replacement program through the use of advanced technology and a streamlined process that ensures patients experience seamless recovery and return to their daily routine quickly. This is a crucial development with total joint replacement becoming one of the most popular surgeries in the U.S. thanks in part to an aging and active baby boomer population.
“Our surgeons examined the entire patient journey from the moment surgery is scheduled to recovery,” said Michael Lospinuso, M.D., co-director of orthopedic care transformation service at Hackensack Meridian Health. “In partnership with our hospital and post-acute care teams, our orthopedic physician leaders were able to identify and deploy evidence-based methods that made a difference from increasing patient education to improving pain management protocols and getting our joint replacement patients moving earlier.”
Reducing the number of prescribed opioids, particularly long-lasting opioids enabled patients to walk sooner after surgery. Studies have found that early walking after surgery is crucial to the recovery process. The team also instituted new home care procedures aimed at keeping patients who live independently safe and successful in their recovery.
“Our surgeons were integral to the success of this program, helping lead Hackensack Meridian Health in a new approach to total joint replacement,” said Michael Kelly, M.D., co-director of orthopedic care transformation service at Hackensack Meridian Health. “By closely partnering with our independent physicians, Hackensack Meridian Healthbenefitted from their insight and engaged in open, transparent dialogue that focused on improving patient outcomes and experience. Thanks to their decades of experience and cooperative spirit, we were able to enhance care at every point of the patient’s journey.”
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center both achieved the highest quality score possible. A feat made possible by this increased collaboration among surgeons and the health care providers involved in the patient’s care journey.
This is the second year in a row that Hackensack Meridian Health has realized savings as part of the CJR program. In its first performance period, which spanned six months, Hackensack Meridian Health saved $2.37 million and realized $1.76 million in shared savings. Hackensack University Medical Center ranked fourth in the nation for shared savings during this time while Ocean Medical Center ranked seventh out of 382 hospitals.