Doctors in Greensboro develop new way to help their patients

Rarely do you get something that’s both less expensive and better.

Some doctors and colleagues in Greensboro believe they’d done just that.

“It is unique,” says Dr. Matt Olin, an orthopedist working in Greensboro.

He, Dr. Steve Lucey and some others put together a new surgical center on Green Valley Road, across from the Proximity Hotel that they believe not only will create better health outcomes for their patients but cut the cost by 40 percent.

It’s North Carolina’s first, outpatient joint replacement clinic in which the insurance company makes a bundled payment to the surgery center and the surgical center takes it from there, rather than have the insurance company try to deal with all the parties, separately.

“What we’ve done is gain alignment between the doctors and the insurance company, to say, ‘Okay, let’s look at our spend over the three months of care after the surgery and let’s try to drive that down,’” says Dr. Luecy. “So what we did is Blue Cross will basically pay a lump sum – a bundle – for the 90 day s of care and they’ve asked the doctors to manage the care in such a way where it falls under that bundle.”

“Because of that there is more communication – how can we get people through the system most importantly, safely but efficiently so that there’s not a lot of waste,” says Dr. Olin.

It’s what a lot of people hoped the Affordable Care Act or any of the things proposed since would do, but never materialized.

“While people are arguing in Washington, the caregivers – like the doctors, here in Greensboro and the administrators at this center – are doing the hard work of making it happen,” says Dr. Lucey.

Get a look at the one-of-a-kind program in this edition of the Buckley Report.