News Feature | November 15, 2016

Medtronic Unveils New Orthopedic Solutions For CJR Bundled Payment Program

By Jof Enriquez,
Follow me on Twitter @jofenriq


Medtronic has launched a new business unit that offers total joint replacement products and services – including a total knee arthroplasty solution – and will assist hospitals in managing a new bundled payment program implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Implemented April 1, 2016, for 800 participating U.S. hospitals, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model tests bundled payments and quality measurements for episodes of care associated with hip and knee replacements to encourage hospitals, physicians, and post-acute care providers to work together to improve the quality and coordination of care, from initial hospitalization through recovery.

In preparation for the CJR program, Medtronic in June bought Responsive Orthopedics, a niche maker of lower-cost artificial knees and hips, as a springboard for its venture into orthopedics. That company's portfolio will be incorporated with Medtronic's newly established unit, according to Memphis Business Journal.

The large joint replacement business, called Medtronic Orthopedic Solutions, will support providers from pre-surgical planning through the 90th day post discharge, according to the company. It also will offer solutions designed to slash healthcare delivery, including "Care Pathways" and "Medtronic Care Management Services (MCMS)" components to monitor patients' health status post-discharge, intended to minimize the risk for readmission and raise patient satisfaction – important metrics in CJR evaluations.

"Medtronic is here to help speed the adoption of value-based healthcare in orthopedics by helping hospitals drive down costs while keeping outcomes top of mind," said Geoff Martha, EVP and president of Medtronic Restorative Therapies Group, in a news release. "Our technological and operational efficiency know-how – along with our insight into the various points along the care continuum – helps us develop effective solutions, tailored to client needs. And we back this up by sharing potential savings with our customer, which means we get paid if our program is successful in reducing episode costs for customers. This is about more than just offering implants or individual technologies and services; it's about partnering with all stakeholders throughout the entire episode of care to enable patient-centered care at the best value."

Also included and available more widely in the first half of 2017 is Medtronic's (via Responsive Orthopedics) 510(k)-cleared Total Knee Arthroplasty System, as well as the Aquamantys hemostatic technology for sealing of soft tissue and bone to facilitate healing and recovery in knee and hip arthroplasties.

"Quality, lower-cost implants are a very attractive option as we seek to improve patient's lives while also providing value-driven healthcare," said Richard Scott, M.D., professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Emeritus, at Harvard Medical School, former chief of Joint Arthroplasty at The New England Baptist Hospital, and co-designer of Medtronic's total knee arthroplasty system. "We designed Medtronic's total knee arthroplasty system to be simple, versatile and intuitive without unnecessary complexity and inventory. The goal is to benefit everyone – first and foremost the patients, but also the surgeons, hospitals and payers who are providing their care."

Medical device companies are targeting additional revenue opportunities brought by the CJR bundled payment program. Orthopedics stalwarts Stryker and Zimmer Biomet, as well as device giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) earlier this year, have introduced their respective offerings to help providers of hip and knee replacement procedures lower costs and meet CMS-mandated outcomes targets.