Healthcare Industry News: joint replacement
News Release - January 10, 2006
Journal Article Says Zimmer Holdings Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Procedure Generates Significant Hospital Profitability Per Medicare PatientWARSAW, Ind., Jan. 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZMH ; SWX: ZMH ), a leader in the orthopaedics industry, announced today that its Minimally Invasive Solutions(TM) (MIS(TM)) Quad-Sparing(TM) Knee Replacement Procedure is the subject of an orthopaedic journal article that concludes that Zimmer minimally invasive knee replacement techniques provide superior economic and patient clinical benefits, including average hospital profitability of nearly $3,000 per patient. The study compared Zimmer MIS procedures to traditional total knee arthroplasty procedures.
The authors describe potentially "staggering" savings to the healthcare system, and state that if 10% of standard knee replacements were converted to Zimmer minimally invasive knee replacement procedures, the inpatient hospital cost of treating Medicare beneficiaries could decline by nearly $200 million annually.
In the article, which will appear in the upcoming issue of "Seminars in Arthroplasty," lead author Thomas M. Coon, M.D., describes a number of benefits associated with minimally invasive knee procedures, such as reductions in hospital resource utilization -- including reductions in hospital length of stay and in blood transfusions -- and improvements in immediate post-operative mobility and range of motion. Dr. Coon is the director of the Orthopedic Surgical Institute, Red Bluff, California. Co- authors are Alfred J. Tria, Jr., M.D., New Brunswick, New Jersey; Carlos Lavernia, MD, Miami, Florida; and Leon Randall, RN, Red Bluff, California.
"The clinical and economic benefits of minimally invasive hip replacement have been established in the literature, and we believed that minimally invasive knee replacement would produce the same positive results," said Dr. Coon. "In a group of 159 patients we evaluated, our findings clearly support that thesis -- we saw blood transfusion requirements drop from 34% to 4% and early range of motion increase from 48.6 degrees to 68.6 degrees. Patients walked three times further at the third post-op day -- 176 feet versus 58 feet. Length of hospital stay dropped two and a half days during the initial evaluation of this procedure, from 5.9 days to 3.4 days, and in my more recent experience the average length of stay is just over one day. Average hospital net margin, based on an analysis of Medicare reimbursement levels and hospital costs for over 400 Zimmer minimally invasive knee replacement patients, was almost $3,000 per surgery."
According to Zimmer Chairman, President and CEO Ray Elliott, the article's findings support the direction the Company has taken in the area of MIS joint replacement. "We established a leadership position in applying minimally invasive concepts to joint replacement because we saw it as a win-win-win for patients, hospitals and those who pay for their health care," Elliott said. "We believe that hospitals can enable significant benefits for their patients while at the same time lowering their costs of providing care and improving their profits specifically on Medicare patients. As the authors indicate, that has tremendous potential ramifications for generating savings in the health care delivery system. Minimally invasive surgery and implants, which are premium priced, can provide superior patient outcomes at lower cost, and these are permanent cost reductions to the system, not the mere cost-shifting and potential conflicts between stakeholders likely associated with programs such as gainsharing."
In Dr. Coon's hospital, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, Red Bluff, California, an operating room has been added and minimally invasive surgical protocols were implemented. The resulting improvements in total knee replacement surgery facilitated consistency in surgical technique and reduced waiting time between procedure steps, yielding a more efficient operating room with a higher volume of patients treated.
About the Company
Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Zimmer is the worldwide #1 pure-play orthopaedic leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing reconstructive and spinal implants, trauma and related orthopaedic surgical products. Zimmer has operations in more than 24 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer's 2004 sales were approximately $3 billion. The Company is supported by the efforts of more than 6,500 employees worldwide.
Visit Zimmer on the worldwide web at http://www.zimmer.com
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