SOURCE: VHA

August 08, 2008 15:30 ET

Goodroe Healthcare Solutions Earns First Office of the Inspector General Approval for Orthopedic and Spine Gainsharing Project

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - August 8, 2008) - Goodroe Healthcare Solutions, LLC (http://www.goodroe.com/), a VHA company that helps hospitals improve their clinical quality and economic performance, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has approved an orthopedic and spine gainsharing project for procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. This is Goodroe's eleventh OIG approval and its first approval for an orthopedic and spine project.

Gainsharing allows hospitals to share cost savings with participating physicians who achieve operational efficiencies. Currently, Goodroe's gainsharing model is used in clinical areas where physicians control the majority of costs, such as cardiac catheterization procedures, open heart surgery and orthopedic and spine procedures.

While arrangements with individual hospitals vary, most allow participating physicians to be paid as much as 50 percent of the savings generated through increased hospital and physician collaboration to decrease overall costs while demonstrating quality patient outcomes. Goodroe has used the approved gainsharing methodology to identify nearly $75 million in savings for hospitals while ensuring the best quality of care for patients.

"We are very excited because this is the OIG's first approval for a project involving orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. This important step demonstrates that the government is committed to expanding use of our gainsharing methodology to improve patient care and save money," said Joane Goodroe, founder of Goodroe Healthcare Solutions and senior vice president of VHA Inc.

Goodroe's gainsharing model is based on documented patient information collected by Goodroe's proprietary software and database while the patient is receiving care. The comprehensive system measures costs, identifies waste-saving opportunities and uses nationally accepted benchmarks and standards to assure quality patient care.

Acknowledging its continued interest in gainsharing and quality-focused initiatives the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) proposed an exception to the Physician Self-Referral law (commonly referred to as "Stark") in the CY 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule issued on July 7, 2008 for Incentive Payment and Shared Savings Programs. In that proposal, CMS renamed gainsharing programs "shared savings programs," proposed a set of standards for shared savings programs and incentive programs and outlined its philosophy requiring transparency, quality controls and safeguards against payments for referrals. Finalizing this proposal would be the first Stark Law guidance issued from CMS about these types of programs.

About Goodroe Healthcare Solutions, LLC: Since 1994, Goodroe Healthcare Solutions, a VHA company, has been on the forefront of providing cutting-edge information management technologies and processes to help hospitals reduce costs and improve quality. The company has been nationally recognized for its innovative solutions that enable hospitals to increase margins in high-cost specialty areas. In 2001, Goodroe obtained approval for its gainsharing model from the United States Office of Inspector General (OIG). Since this landmark decision, Goodroe has secured ten additional approvals for gainsharing programs in hospitals throughout the United States. To date, Goodroe has the only gainsharing model approved by the OIG. VHA, Inc. acquired Goodroe Healthcare Solutions in October 2005 to help its member hospitals improve their clinical and economic performance in high-cost specialty service areas. Although Goodroe is owned by VHA, Goodroe's gainsharing solutions are marketed to both VHA members and non-VHA member hospitals across the United States.

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