An Interview with Marty Rosenberg
Methodist Sports Medicine has distinguished itself as one of the leading orthopedic practices in the United States for more than thirty (30) years. Four (4) years ago, Methodist Sports committed to a program utilizing a data-driven approach that gives the practice valuable insight into their patients’ pain, function, and quality of life through patient-reported outcomes (PROs) before and after surgical procedures. In addition to PROs, Methodist Sports collects data on the patients’ overall experience with the surgeon and practice. Through this program, they have created a culture that fosters continuous improvement by developing an outcome accountability feedback loop. The return on this investment has been tremendous. Today, Methodist Sports provides some of the best surgical outcomes from the most experienced and dedicated physicians in orthopedics.
CODE Technology had the pleasure of interviewing Methodist Sport’s CEO, Marty Rosenberg, and the incredible insights he shared were mind-blowing. The Methodist Sports data registry contains approximately 30,000 completed PRO surveys and 10,500 patient comments. This blog will highlight some key takeaways on how Methodist Sports maximizes the value of its outcome data.
What types of outcome data is Methodist Sports collecting and how are they using it in the practice?
Methodist Sports collects patient experience data and validated patient-reported outcome measures using standard tools like HOOS/KOOS and PROMIS 10, on every surgical patient before and after their procedure. Methodist Sports CEO, Marty Rosenberg said, “We use the patient-reported data a lot for our research and quality metrics. We benchmark our doctors internally in the group and then externally against a cohort of other orthopedic surgeons who participate with CODE. Typically, some of the most valuable things we get out of the data are the Patients’ Comments.”
On average, over 100 patients a week leave a comment. Methodist Sports reviews each and every comment and then sorts the data by comments that are welcoming/positive and those that are concerning. Both the positive accolades and negative feedback are shared with the doctors and their staff. Marty added, “I actually get copies, so there is an accountability feedback loop, and the president of the group gets copied too. We follow up with the physician and their staff to make sure that they are addressing the identified concerns with the patients.”
In fact, Marty personally calls patients who have a negative experience. “Initially, the patients often respond, who are you, and why are you calling? But later, patients think it is pretty remarkable – they are very happy with the fact that the CEO of the company paid attention to the comments and are not just reading them, but personally following up,” said Marty. Patient experience data has helped Methodist Sports identify problems and perform service recovery, which has been a key driver in the incredible experience patients consistently report after being seen at Methodist Sports. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of the feedback is positive, and the doctors and staff enjoy reading them, but the few that aren’t, Methodist Sports is able to act quickly.
Consistency over time
The patient-reported outcome data is monitored and tracked over time. Methodist Sports consistently benchmarks their outcomes to the CODE national registry as well as analyzes individual provider variability. Marty said, “The analytics goal of using the CODE data is progressively trying to reduce provider variation. We monitor the data for each surgical procedure and continue to collapse our providers around the mean – our goal is to reduce provider variation, which results in better outcomes, lower costs, and increased value.” Their efforts to reduce provider variability have been fruitful – Methodist Sports outperforms CODE’s national benchmark for both functional outcomes and surgical complication rates across the board. In fact, their shoulder arthroscopy patients are the best performing group in the entire CODE registry.
In turn, Marty has been able to use these benchmarking reports to illustrate the value of the care they provide to payers. Marty said “You can differentiate yourself in one of two ways with payers – Quality and Cost. If your practice focuses only on cost, then your care becomes commoditized. So, we use the data competitively to benchmark ourselves and our outcomes relative to our competitors and show that quality. We successfully utilize the CODE data to specifically target our competitive advantage – Quality, Access, Patient Experience, and Outcomes.”
For Methodist Sports, the return on investment is better patient outcomes and better patient experience. A cost-centric approach results in a race to the bottom, where the least expensive care wins regardless of the quality. Utilizing a combination of PROs and Patient experience metrics, Methodist Sports has differentiated its practice on both patient outcomes and cost of care. The indirect benefit has been the ability to leverage that data to increase patient referrals, secure large contracts and negotiate better rates with payers. And this is the holy grail of Value-Based Care, turning the paradigm around and creating volume from value!
What advice would you give to other healthcare providers who are interested in either starting or improving their Patient-Reported Outcome program?
Methodist Sports Medicine has done an incredible job of collecting patient-reported outcome data and maximizing the value of the asset. Building and maintaining a patient-reported outcome program comes with many challenges. Marty describes three (3) key points that are mission-critical for success:
1) Partnerships with Vendors
2) Investing in People
3) Investing in Tools needed to aggregate the data
Marty knew that having the physician staff collect data manually while the patients are in the clinic was not a reliable or sustainable method, so he sought the help of a 3rd party vendor. Marty said, “Part of the differentiation for us is that working with CODE has been as easy as you possibly could get. The process that CODE has created is comprehensive, easy, user-friendly, and highly compliant for our end users – our patients. When you’re getting eighty percent (80%) or greater response rate on your surveys – that’s extraordinary.” After identifying the right technology partner, they invested in extraordinary people and gave their staff the opportunity to grow in different areas. Their Director of Research & Education, Chris Curless, has developed as an industry leader in data management and analytics. His team ensures all relevant insights around outcomes and patient experience gets communicated throughout the practice. The third component is investing in tools to manage and visualize the data in a meaningful way. “It all comes down to the willingness to invest in managing the data.” states Rosenberg.
Methodist Sports Medicine creates a culture of value and innovation through the use of patient-reported outcome data. Rather than focusing on just cutting costs, they focus on reducing variation and driving value through exceptional outcomes. Marty concluded, “CODE allows us to get a return on investment by providing our analytics team with incredible data. They allow us to demonstrate that Methodist Sports is an organization worthy of partnering for both clinical care and research. Methodist Sport’s ultimate goal is to deliver excellent care through continuous improvement efforts, and we strive daily to ensure that it is happening.”
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