Hospitals Must Rethink How They Deliver Orthopedic Care to Meet New Joint Replacement Requirements

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Oct 18, 2018 7:12:00 AM

The Joint Commission this year announced a major change for hospitals and health systems seeking advanced, disease-specific, Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification. Hospitals now need to comply with additional performance measures to try to address the top clinical concerns in healthcare today.

The new measures are associated with fewer post-op complications, readmissions and deaths and lower cost – emphasizing how critical it is for healthcare to move the needle in these areas. In addition to focusing on clinical metrics, the Joint Commission is emphasizing the need for patient-reported feedback – once again acknowledging that patients are key partners in reducing healthcare costs. 

Lowering cost, improving post-surgical outcomes and driving patient-reported feedback are lofty goals for the Joint Commission to set for hospitals. But these goals are achievable if hospitals expand how they deliver orthopedic care to include reaching patients outside hospital walls.

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Topics: Episode of Care, Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Innovation, Patient Experience

Using Direct Patient Activation to Motivate Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 13, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Imagine you are one of the 1.1 million people about to have a joint replacement this year. Your doctor gave you information during your pre-op visit but you were so busy worrying about your recovery and how you would manage your daily responsibilities, that you missed a lot of the details. Your husband took some notes but he was also overwhelmed at the thought of you being off your feet for 6 weeks. You’ve been doing the best you can with what you remember of your care instructions and you’re hoping for a successful outcome.

Now imagine, instead, that you started to receive care instructions and check-ins from your surgeon after that first pre-op visit. The information helped you remember what your doctor said, reminded you what you need to know at every point in this process (which can be more than six months from pre-op through recovery) and eased your anxiety.

That level of engagement is known as patient activation – the act of energizing a person to manage his or her own health and healthcare with knowledge, skills and confidence. Patient activation is associated with better post-surgical outcomes, including a 40% decrease in 30-day readmissions and 21% lower care costs in the year after surgery.

Hospitals are making that impact even stronger by employing what is referred to as direct patient activation – motivating patients with regular, targeted mobile connections delivered through push messaging.

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Topics: patient activation, Episode of Care, Healthcare Technology, Innovation, Patient Experience, Patient Engagement, Improving Patient Outcomes

Whether Mandatory or Voluntary, Bundled Payments Depend on Patient Activation

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Jun 19, 2018 1:32:01 PM

Mandatory bundled payment programs for joint replacement offer “more robust, generalizable evidence” than voluntary programs. That’s the main finding of a new study of data from Medicare and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey.

And yet, with the never ending, constantly shifting priorities that hospital staff need to balance, the implication that mandatory bundled payments might be better is a tricky one. This study does not claim definitively that they are. Rather, the authors state, there’s a place for both types of programs in the push to get more hospitals using bundled payment plans. 

The study highlights that the shift to value-based care, particularly in orthopedics, is going strong. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to move this transition forward with bundled payments. Whether mandatory or voluntary, it’s wise to proactively get ahead of CMS’s efforts by implementing a patient activation solution that puts you in control.

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Topics: patient activation, Episode of Care, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, Value-Based Care, Healthcare Technology

The Emerging Role of Digital Health Tools in Postpartum Care

Posted by Jackie Simon on May 11, 2018 8:35:00 AM

 

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has proposed a shift in the delivery of postpartum care to try to curb increasing maternal mortality rates. In a committee opinion issued this month, ACOG specifically names using technology such as email and text among effective strategies for increasing patient engagement and attendance at postpartum visits.

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Improving Patient Outcomes, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care