“We’re leading the effort to keep costs down. The bundled payment sends
a strong message to the payer: quality is very high, costs stay low and patients love it
because the process is easy and seamless. They get one bill and we manage the care from
surgery to physical therapy.”
Darci Nagorski, Administrator, St. Cloud Surgical Center
St. Cloud Surgical Center (SCSC), 90 minutes northwest of Minneapolis, is a pioneer in outpatient
surgery. Today, in partnership with Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), SCSC continues to innovate.
In 2015 SCSC started conducting outpatient total knee and total hip replacements using robotics.
Since starting the program, SCSC has performed more than 1,150 total joint replacements with 95%
SCA developed a bundled payment with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to create a
seamless continuum of care, from surgery to physical therapy—and all with just one bill. The
single payment covers the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia and facility charges, post-surgical physical
therapy, home health care, etc. “It’s one payment for the procedure and all the services a
patient might need related to the surgery within 90 days,” says Marie Edler, MPH, Senior Vice
President, Strategy and Payer Engagement at SCA.
According to Darci Nagorski, Administrator for the center, SCA manages the entire process,
paying the anesthesiologist, physician and physical therapist, while ensuring that quality
remains high. “We’re leading the effort to keep costs down. The bundled payment sends a strong
message to the payer: quality is very high, costs stay low and patients love it because the
process is easy and seamless,” says Stack.
Says Dr. Nessler: “The program is an excellent way to offer my patients and the insurers a cost
effective solution to total joint replacement that appropriately shifts the financial incentives
to us as care givers to make the optimal clinical decisions for our patients.”