Anthony Vecchione, Senior Health Care Reporter for NJBIZ, interviews Dr. Zabinski.

Terms of engagement

A value-based specialist model drives down costs and improves quality for orthopedic patients

Physicians participating in Horizon BCBSNJ’s Episodes of Care (EOC) program outperformed non-EOC colleagues for the same procedures in outcomes, quality and cost.

The finding is based on an analysis of 2017 data for patients enrolled in Horizon BCBNJ’s EOCs for hip replacement, knee replacement and knee arthroscopy.

EOC is the model used to engage specialists in the Newark-based company’s value-based strategy.

The idea was to drive improved outcomes and patient experience and ultimately reduce the overall cost of care.

Doctors who choose to participate in the program are rewarded for achieving better quality of care, lower costs and a more positive patient experience.

When EOC specialists achieve those triple goals, Horizon shares cost savings that they receive in addition to their fee-for-service reimbursements.

“The idea was to drive improved outcomes and patient experience and ultimately reduce the overall cost of care,” said Lili Brillstein, director of specialty care value based models for Horizon BCBSNJ.

Brillstein said that there has been interest in the program — not only in New Jersey but also all over the country.

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KNEE REPLACEMENT GIVES PATIENTS A PAIN-FREE LIFE

Shore Medical Center:

ADVANCED SPINE AND ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE

“Shore Healthy Living” Newsletter

February 13, 2019

Knee replacement surgeries are a daily occurrence for Dr. Stephen Zabinski and his fellow orthopedic surgeons at Shore Orthopaedic University Associates (SOUA) in Somers Point. “Knees are by far the most common of all joints that are replaced,” said Dr. Zabinski who has been performing knee replacement surgery for more than 20 years.  “Knees are also the joint most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. They are also the most subjective to sports injury and most affected by weight. Those factors can wear the knees away.”

Most patients will visit SOUA with complaints of discomfort from osteoarthritis, though there are many forms of arthritis that negatively impact joints and bones. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative, “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis where the cartilage gradually wears away. It occurs most often in people age 50 and older, but may occur in younger people as well, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Zabinski added that genetics also plays a factor and said people who tend to sit cross-legged as they eat, or kneel often may have significant discomfort in their knee simply because they are putting a lot of additional stress on the knee itself.

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Hip replacements move to outpatient-style model

Hip and knee replacements have come a long way in Dr. Stephen Zabinski’s career as an orthopedic surgeon.

But one advancement is something unheard of 20 years ago – patients getting hip replacements in an ambulatory surgical center in the morning and returning home early in the afternoon.

This approach avoids possible days-long recoveries in a hospital and rehabilitation center, ultimately making it more cost effective for health care reform, he said.

Zabinski, vice president of Shore Orthopaedic University Associates, has performed these types of surgeries for more than three years and has been doing them at the Jersey Shore Ambulatory Surgical Center in Somers Point for about six months on certain patients.

“It really achieves all the goals we want to provide better care to patients in a safe way that’s more cost effective,” said Zabinski, who is the director of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Shore Medical Center and President of the Jersey Shore Ambulatory Surgical Center.

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Joint Pain? Consider Stem Cell Therapy


Shore Orthopaedic University Associates
is pleased to offer the latest treatment in
Regenerative Orthopaedic Medicine… Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can differentiate into specialized cells that are capable of playing a role in helping the body repair and rejuvenate itself.   They can change themselves into cells such as chondrocytes capable of cartilage repair, myocytes which are capable of muscle repair, tenocytes which are capable of tendon repair, as well as cells capable of bone and even nerve repair.  Stem cells can come from many different sources in our own bodies including, blood, fat, bone marrow, dental pulp, as well as many other tissues.  Stem cells can also come from sources outside our own bodies including embryonic tissue, amniotic tissue, and umbilical cord blood. At Shore Orthopaedics, Dr. Charles Krome (who has been performing regenerative medicine procedures since 2008) uses stem cells derived from the umbilical cord blood donated from healthy mothers, along with a patient’s own platelet rich plasma, to treat a variety of orthopaedic/sports medicine conditions including osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, etc., rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow and other tendonopathies of the body, plantar fasciitis, meniscal and ligament injuries, as well as many other musculoskeletal conditions.

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