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Zimmer Biomet's Answer to Value-Based Care

Zimmer Biomet's Answer to Value-Based Care
The orthopedic giant is packaging services and technologies into an offering aimed at helping hospitals and providers transition to and thrive under the value-based reimbursement model. 

Zimmer Biomet Holdings is using a new approach to maneuver the rapidly shifting reimbursement landscape. On Tuesday, the orthopedics heavyweight announced its new Signature Solutions offering of clinical services and technologies, intended to help clients tackle the new business models expected in a value-based care environment.

Signature Solutions is an offering that company executives seemed to hint at earlier this year when discussing the impact of bundled payment models with industry analysts.

In recent years, payment models focused on the care continuum have become mainstream in the medtech industry. Announced last year, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model has led clinicians, hospitals, and orthopedic companies to pay closer attention to patient rehabilitation and post-acute care. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is transforming payment models further. Other countries are in on the transition too. These models all emphasize good clinical outcomes and cost savings throughout. Stryker, a competitor to Zimmer Biomet, has its Stryker Performance Solutions business, which is also focused on the bundled payment approach. 

The new Signature Solutions offering with take Zimmer Biomet's consulting services and combine it with clinical services and technologies--some that the company already has and some that will be added through acquisitions and partnerships, according to a press release. The offering will be available to certain U.S. academic centers at first, before a wider launch in 2017.

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"Signature Solutions will encapsulate our exclusive and extensive knowledge of the new healthcare landscape into the first end-to-end suite of clinical services, technologies, and proprietary analytical tools, which are designed to work seamlessly with the institutions' existing infrastructure to improve quality outcomes, provide more efficient care, and increase provider throughput," David Dvorak, Zimmer Biomet president and CEO, said in the release.

Signature Solutions will include interactive tools to engage and educate patients on procedures, treatments, and rehabilitation; a platform for hospitals to gather and analyze patient-reported outcomes data; and consulting, digital health software, and personalized medical devices. All of these elements are anticipated to improve patient outcomes, facilitate reimbursement, and make the entire process more efficient.

While Zimmer Biomet hasn't elaborated on the exact partnerships and acquisitions that may be added to the Signature Solutions offering, company executives have discuss the potential for such a comprehensive solution before. During Zimmer Biomet's first quarter earnings call in April, Daniel Florin, chief financial officer, said, "Going back a decade now we've been building out a comprehensive set of not only implant solutions, but services in a comprehensive nature in anticipation of a world that would be more consistent with what CJR is contemplating, that is how do we go about developing deeper partnerships with customers to bring higher quality of care in the most cost-efficient way possible," according to the Seeking Alpha earnings call transcript.

In another hint at the time, Dvorak also added, "There are limited numbers of companies that can sit at the table with the offerings that we have to bring value to that conversation and be able to follow through and deliver. So we're excited about the opportunity and you're going to hear a lot more from us going forward on that front."

Todd Dietrick, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA, said in Tuesday's release, "Over the past year, we engaged Signature Solutions' expert consulting services to guide our clinical and operational teams to improve the value of our orthopaedic program by creating standards for patient optimization and surgical performance. The new technologies and digital software components will further enhance the utility of Signature Solutions and provide healthcare institutions with an all-in-one solution to optimize performance in a value-based care model."


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