Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists Partnership Set to Deliver Innovative Orthopaedic Healthcare

Blue Distinction Center + Knee/HipMississippi Gulf Coast – Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists (Bienville Orthopaedics) and Bienville Surgery Center have partnered with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS) as the first and only surgical clinic on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to perform total knee and hip replacement surgery in an ambulatory outpatient setting, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is proud to recognize the center’s surgical facility as an Outpatient Orthopaedic Center of Excellence.

Traditionally, total hip and knee replacement surgeries have been performed in an inpatient (hospital) setting. Due to clinical advancements perfected over time in the hospital setting, Bienville Orthopaedics’s Network Surgeons are now able to deliver an optimal experience for qualified patients in the ambulatory outpatient setting. Performing knee and hip procedures in the ambulatory outpatient setting is more cost effective and allows the patient to have surgery and begin recovery at home all within the same day.

“Outpatient hip and knee surgery has been shown to have a safety profile equal to or better than inpatient joint replacement in healthy, well-motivated patients,” said John K. Drake, M.D., President of Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists. “Our joint replacement team at Bienville Surgery Center is dedicated to safe, successful surgery in the outpatient setting. It is done at significant cost savings compared to the traditional inpatient hospital stay and traditional rehabilitation. We are committed to bringing the highest level of safety, comfort, and convenience to our patients as it relates to their surgical care and are proud to offer our patients a more efficient, cost-effective alternative to the traditional hospital stay.”

The inpatient stay for a total knee or hip replacement surgery averages between one and three days compared to five to six hours in the ambulatory surgery setting. The shorter length of stay enables the patient to be back home and on the road to recovery the day of surgery. Following discharge, the patient receives frequent visits from a Network Home Healthcare Provider who is in direct, constant communication with Bienville Orthopaedics’s Network Surgeon and team designated to coordinate care.

“Partnering with Bienville Orthopaedics to bring innovative orthopaedic care to the Gulf Coast will increase patient satisfaction, reduce costs and bring greater value to employers as well,” says Dr. Tom Fenter, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

The total joint replacement healthcare delivery model is available to Blue Cross and Blue Shield patients as well as State of Mississippi Health Plan participants. Additionally, specific criteria related to the individual’s overall health and risk factors must be met for a patient to be considered for a knee and hip replacement in the ambulatory outpatient setting. These criteria, along with other supporting elements, are evaluated by Bienville Orthopaedics’s Network Surgeons.

“Everything at Bienville Surgery Center is patient-focused and designed for those who are motivated to recover quickly,” states Dean Thigpen, CEO at Bienville Orthopaedics. “Our physicians planned this state-of-the-art surgery center to allow the vast majority of our patients to safely travel home the same day of surgery. Simply put, our patients improve faster at home and with outpatient physical therapy. While home, they can rest and recover without the constant interruptions and stress of blood draws, beeps and being hooked up to machines. Bienville Orthopaedics is changing the way people think of total joint replacements, one surgery at a time.”

In addition to improving patient experience, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and Bienville Orthopaedics are moving beyond traditional fee-for-service payment models to a value-based, episode of care payment model that puts the focus on the patient and the quality of care provided. The value-based payment model (bundled billing) provides a single payment to the Network Provider for all services rendered to the patient for orthopaedic services, including anesthesia, physical therapy, etc. and is tied to quality outcomes and cost-effective care. Many Blue Cross and Blue Shield patients may qualify for a reduced deductible and co-insurance by selecting ambulatory outpatient surgery at Bienville Orthopaedics.

“We are proud to continue in our efforts in building cost-effective healthcare solutions for our members and providing them access to Network Providers who share our same goals and commitment to providing quality and affordable healthcare for Mississippians,” says Dr Fenter.