Devices & Diagnostics, Hospitals

Zimmer Biomet unveils tech-enabled service to stay relevant in value-based care

Zimmer Biomet wants to help hospitals use technology and other tools to maintain good patient outcomes and improve hospital efficiencies in a bid to stay relevant in the shift to value-based care.


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The evolution of traditionally hardware-heavy medtech companies is fascinating to watch. Last week it was Stryker who launched a service that helps hospitals leverage data to enumerate the value of a joint replacement.

And this week it is Zimmer Bioemet that can be added to the list of medical device companies who are touting their service and solutions chops to help hospital customers navigate value-based care.

Chalk it up to the recognition that helping hospitals traverse the shifting sands successfully will ultimately make medtech companies stay ahead of competition.

So how exactly is Zimmer Biomet planning to stay relevant in the shift to value-based care? On Tuesday, the Warsaw, Indiana, orthopedics company announced the launch of Signature Solutions, a primarily services offering for the musculoskeletal division of hospitals to help them maintain good patient outcomes and gain cost and procedural efficiencies.

Signature Solutions is combining the company’s existing consulting business with a curated set of technologies and services that Zimmer Biomet already owns or will obtain through acquisitions. Initially the offering will target the musculoskeletal service lines of select academic hospitals across the nation. In 2017, the service is expected to be available more broadly.

“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,” said David Dvorak, chief executive officer of Zimmer Biomet, in a statement.

Here’s more from the press release about what the new service will comprise:

  • Interactive and proven patient engagement tools designed to educate patients about the procedure and treatment options, facilitate physician- patient communication, and increase patient adherence to pre-op, intraop and post-op/rehab protocols.
  • Data mining and analysis platform that enables hospitals to collect critical patient-reported outcomes data (i.e., satisfaction with care, pain management, facility, etc.) that can factor into the level of reimbursement provided for each procedure.
  • Expert consulting services, digital health software solutions and personalized, patient-specific medical technologies and instruments that help hospitals improve patient outcomes, increase overall productivity and surgical efficiency by streamlining workflow, and enhance surgical and rehab protocols.

It’s heartening not to mention strategically savvy to include patients in this discussion. As most people are aware, starting April 1, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model went into effect for certain hospitals by which Medicare will pay a fixed amount to hospitals performing hip and knee replacements based on value. So, there is a financial incentive for hospitals to work with patients to ensure that they follow doctors’ recommendations that could impact outcomes. Bad outcomes, after all, could directly lead to increased costs.

“As patient outcomes figure more prominently in the bundled payment environment, healthcare institutions are under increased pressure to minimize inefficiencies along the entire episode of care while delivering superior quality of care and a positive patient experience,” said Dr. Todd Dietrick, orthopaedic surgeon at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, in the news 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.”

Zimmer Biomet injecting itself in this relationship between patients and physicians, and if its tech tools actually boost adherence and hold down costs, could make Signature Solutions a must-need item when performing musculoskeletal surgeries.

Signature Solutions and the other efforts by medtech companies across the board are notable also for one more reason: the recognition that innovation doesn’t start and end with a new widget and endless bells and whistles.

Photo: Getty, Hong Li