ASC Total Joint Bundled Payment Program Achieving Triple Aim

Posted Nov 1, 2022 under:

ASC's Joint Program achieves Triple Aim with bundled payments.

St. Cloud Surgical Center has long been an innovator. Its total joint replacement program, developed with SCA Health, has led to higher quality, lower costs and a streamlined approach to health care: a bundled payment that simplifies the process of surgery and recovery.

  • 98% go home same day
  • 1% infection rate
  • 30% lower cost than hospital

St. Cloud Surgical Center’s Joint Replacement Program: Streamlined Healthcare with Bundled Payments

St. Cloud Surgical Center's joint replacement program, created with SCA Health, offers a streamlined approach to healthcare with bundled payments that reduce costs and simplify surgery and recovery.

This article was last updated on 3/29/24 to reflect current information.

St. Cloud Surgical Center (SCSC), 90 minutes northwest of Minneapolis, is a pioneer in outpatient joint surgery. Today, in partnership with SCA Health, SCSC continues to innovate. In 2015, SCSC started conducting outpatient total knee and total hip replacements using robotics. Since starting the program, SCSC has performed more than 1,150 joint replacements with 95% patient satisfaction.

SCA Health, in cooperation with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, developed a bundled payment structure. This program created a seamless continuum of care, from surgery to physical therapy—and all with just one bill. The single payment covers the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia and facility charges, post-surgical physical therapy, home health care, etc.

“It’s one payment for the procedure and all the services a patient might need related to the surgery within 90 days,” says Marie Edler, MPH, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Payer Engagement at SCA Health.

According to Darci Nagorski, Administrator for the center, SCA Health manages the entire process, paying the anesthesiologist, physician and physical therapist, while ensuring that quality remains high.

SCSC orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nessler concluded, “The program is an excellent way to offer my patients and the insurers a cost effective solution to total joint replacement that appropriately shifts the financial incentives to us as care givers to make the optimal clinical decisions for our patients.”

“We’re leading the effort to keep costs down. The bundled payment sends a strong message to the payer: quality is very high, costs stay low and patients love it because the process is easy and seamless. They get one bill and we manage the care from surgery to physical therapy.”

Darci Nagorski, Administrator, St. Cloud Surgical Center

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