Great Surgeons, Great Outcomes

By: Nic Hayes

Answering the question of who’s a great surgeon is a challenging but important one – especially if you consider that a surgery with complications can send an employee into disability and cost your business significantly more in healthcare costs.


Most surgeons have all obtained high-level degrees, likely from the nation’s most prestigious schools, and logged countless hours as interns and residents. However, when it comes to the actual surgery, the patient experience, and the outcomes from it - how can you differentiate the good surgeons from the great ones?


Good vs. Great

Unlike sports, historically there have been no stats to track how surgeons perform in the operating room. Yes, there are on-line services and “Center of Excellence” (CoE) models available, however these have inherent flaws. Most on-line services depend on Medicare data that is incomplete and often generic. Combined with published “certifications”, it provides little information on actual outcomes. CoE models focus on the brand of the hospital, but do not dive into the outcomes of the individual surgeons. Overall, these models focus on cost-containment but do not consider the patient experience.


Informed believes the surgeon is at the center of good-vs-great outcomes and that a great surgeon should provide 100% transparency in the outcomes of every patient they treat. Transparency provides objective metrics to judge a surgeon’s skill such as information on the type of patient of which they do best, a path of self-improvement where they can see what works, and what needs adjustment.


Informed also believes that the surgeon data analyzed must be detailed and deep. For example, medical devices in the OR, including surgical robotics, can collect detailed data about how the procedures are performed with incredible accuracy.


“The data doesn’t lie” said Sal Brogna, CEO of Informed and former COO of Intuitive Surgical, makers of the da Vinci Surgical Robot, “We saw significant differences between novice, average, and elite surgeons when we compared different surgeons’ procedures”.


Combining this with patient claims data, the result is a clear, objective view into the “how”, and the results become clear, and indisputable. This is accuracy never achieved previously.


Surgeons of Excellence

What makes Informed standout is their emphasis on patient experience and outcomes.


Informed's “Surgeons of Excellence” represent the top 10% of surgeons and can be found at hospitals across the country. Informed matches these elite surgeons with patients within their existing provider network. In utilizing the provider network, costs remain the same, the employee receives care close to home, and is covered under their existing health benefits. This has little-to-no disruption to an employer’s existing plans; instead, an employer simply sees the cost reduction due to fewer complications, and getting back to work sooner.


Outcomes are the driving factor behind everything Informed does. They want to identify the best surgeons who produce the best outcomes, so they track outcomes consistently to know if there is ever a change or variation in outcomes for surgeons.


These outcomes tie into patient experience – the better the outcome of the surgery meaning minimal invasion, faster recovery, and less time off, the better the experience for the patient. Informed even goes a step farther by focusing on patient experience from first touch.


Navigating the healthcare space can be a difficult and stress-filled time for patients, so Informed connects patients with nurse navigators who utilize the Informed network to match the patient with a surgeon based on the patient’s situation and the surgeon’s experience. The match is made locally - highlighting the great surgeons across the country in their Surgeons of Excellence model. In addition to having a trusted navigator on their side, most Informed surgeons will call the patients themselves, not a telemedicine visit or to get medical information, but just to have that touch to get the patient familiar and comfortable with who will be responsible for their surgery.


Savings Through Excellence

Surgery is a major expenditure to the health plan accounting for 30% of healthcare costs. Complications can account for a significant portion of that spend. A deeper look shows that there is an average surgery complication rate of 14.5% around the country, but that average varies on a surgery-by-surgery basis with some surgeries seeing a complication rate approaching 50%. A single complication could result in the cost to the employer being doubled or even increased tenfold. Additionally, complications dramatically extend the patient’s recovery time forcing them to be unable to work and placing more of a financial burden on them and their plan.


Informed provides a cost-efficient solution bringing the best quality care to your employees. Depending on what services you need, their services are typically $42 per employee annually – or $3.50 a month. With this solution in place, Informed can save between $108 - $300 per employee on an annual basis.


“The burden of rising costs in healthcare in the US are carried by the employer,”said Phil Bernosky, Informed Surgical’s Chief of Marketing, "the path to significant relief is access to the best care.”


In addition to plan savings, the Informed solution also has direct translation to lower health care expenditure and the potential to position the organization for better negotiations, rate paths, and even more!


Wrapping it up

At a time when healthcare costs are rising, there is a spotlight on surgery to evaluate the outcomes it produces. Employers are wanting to provide the best care to their employees to both aid in the recovery time an employee has, and to reduce costs to the employer by reducing complications. This is the focus of Informed Surgical.


We are proud to feature Informed on the Granite List

Posts by Tag

See all