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Why 1 center 'proceeds with caution' in payer contracts

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For Indianapolis, Ind.-based Midwest Center for Joint Replacement, a good culture fit is a priority in securing a payer contract. 

Executive director Grant Foley spoke with Becker's ASC Review about his concerns with payer trends and supply chain.

Question: What payer policy trends are you keeping an eye on? Why?

Grant Foley: We are and have been monitoring the direction of direct contracting and bundled payment programs for the past few years. With the high number of sales calls we receive from dealmakers in the market, it's always tough to gauge the true volume or value an agreement will bring to an organization. Most of them are simply searching for the lowest-cost procedure and are unable to deliver much in return. All opportunities are worth hearing, but we approach each conversation cautiously — wanting to make the right decision for our future. A seemingly good deal now to gain a little surgical volume could prove otherwise down the road, so we proceed with caution. The key for us is to find the right partner that is a good culture fit and are likeminded with the goal of creating a win-win relationship. Our organization and surgeons also make an effort to stay in contact with the leadership of the major payers in our local area. With being focused on joint replacement, we feel this is an area of opportunity for a center such as ours. But for now, we are simply vetting each opportunity one at a time.

Q: What are your biggest concerns surrounding supply chain in the next six months? 

GF: Early in the pandemic, we were all scrambling for personal protective equipment, but things seem to have stabilized in that area with how it affects our group. But things can change quickly as we all know; however, we are much more prepared with how to better handle this having gone through the past 18 months. Having allies and teammates that can provide support and counsel with what strategies have worked for them has also proven to be very helpful. From the onset of the organization, we have been focused on creating great partnerships and building relational capital. This has proven to be a winning formula that we’ve seen come full circle, even as it pertains to the supply chain.  

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