Samuel Weinstein, MD, MBA
President and Chief Medical Officer
January 6, 2017
From a healthcare perspective, the only thing we can be certain of in 2017 is that there will be uncertainty. For healthcare administrators, there is uncertainty around how to manage changes in provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI), and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Restructuring Medicare and Medicaid could have a significant impact on planning, implementation, and payments for providers. But, regardless of the new format, healthcare providers like SpecialtyCare will always have an obligation—both to their patients and their customers—to improve value by providing high-quality care while containing costs.
At SpecialtyCare, we keep a close eye on the political and regulatory environment to ensure that our policies and practices adhere to requirements. We consider the healthcare landscape when engaged in strategic planning and in every administrative decision, whether that affects the services we provide or the cost of those services. But one thing remains constant: our mission to improve the delivery of healthcare and the lives of our patients.
Reflecting on all that we accomplished in 2016, I remain inspired by the dedication of our clinical associates. Day and night, every day of the year, the people of SpecialtyCare are in operating rooms all across the country caring for patients and supporting our surgeons and their teams. The stories of “heroics” coming in from our customer facilities—from hunkering down and providing round-the-clock ECMO during a hurricane to helping a child undergo a new procedure that relieves the burden of seizures—demonstrate a commitment to prioritizing patient care above all else.
I am also proud of our significant accomplishments outside the clinical setting, which ensure that our customers receive the greatest possible medical and economic value by partnering with us. Cross-functional teams integrated the newly acquired Sentient associates, strengthened our technical infrastructure, remodeled online training, streamlined the supply chain function, improved our online dashboards, developed more efficient surgical support processes, expanded clinical consulting services, sponsored a perfusion school, and launched the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship. While some of these initiatives receive more exposure than others, they all create additional value for our customers.
Some of our efforts are more visible and impact patient care more directly. As an advisor on the Food and Drug Administration’s Circulatory Devices Panel tasked with addressing the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) outbreak, our perfusion leadership has written extensively on the subject and continues to promote patient safety through recommendations and innovative practices. Members of our clinical team regularly share their experience and knowledge of proven techniques and the latest technologies with other healthcare providers in hospitals, classrooms, and industry meetings designed to educate and inform.
Our medical office, using data from the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry (SCOPE™), elevated our ability to set evidence-based clinical standards in 2016. This is a significant differentiator from our competitors. We presented original intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) research to members of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring, the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the North American Spine Society, where our work received “Best Paper” designation. We also conducted and released original perfusion research at meetings of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery), the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion, the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology (published in the Journal of Extracorporeal Technology), and the American Heart Association. (See below for links to recent research.)
The clinical insights derived from SCOPE are applied every day in the OR by our skilled professionals and disseminated directly to our hospitals, surgeon partners, their teams, and others across the industry. This is our approach to improving the delivery of healthcare: dedicated men and women using evidence-based information to elevate clinical practice that improves patient outcomes. We lived this model in 2016 and will continue to expand it in 2017. We will monitor the healthcare landscape and be prepared to support our customers regardless of the changes and challenges that arise. As always, we will spend every day focused on providing the highest quality patient care while containing costs, because improving value is the best way to provide certainty in an uncertain healthcare environment.
- Application of Goal-Directed Therapy for the use of Concentrated Antithrombin for Heparin Resistance during Cardiac Surgery (AmSECT)
- Comparative Clinical Effectiveness of Intraoperative Autotransfusion during Cardiac Surgery: Does the Type of Device Make a Difference? (AACP – Outstanding Presentation)
- Factors Influencing Intraoperative Glycemic Control During Cardiac Surgery with Cardiopulmonary Bypass (AmSECT)
- Gender Differences in Intra-Operative Blood Transfusions (AHA)
- Goal-Directed Perfusion Methodology for Determining Oxygenator Performance during Clinical Cardiopulmonary Bypass (AACP)
- The Heater Cooler as a Source of Infection from Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (JECT article)
- Obesity Beyond a BMI > 35 Does Not Protect Patients Undergoing Cardiac Bypass Surgery from Red Blood Cell Transfusion (AACP, Perfusion)
- The Unintended Consequences of Over Reducing Cardiopulmonary Bypass Circuit Prime Volume (STS)
Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) Research
- Incidence and Resolution of Neuromonitoring Alerts During Extradural Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Surgery (AANS)
- Neurologic Outcome Following Intraoperative Neurophysiological Signal Change in Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Multiregional Spine Surgery (NASS – Best Paper)
- Neurologic Outcomes Following Differential Resolution of Neuromonitoring Alerts during Extradural Spine Surgery (AANS)
- Neuromonitoring Changes and Neurologic Outcome by Approach and Number of Levels in Extradural Cervical Spine Surgery (ACNS)
- TcMEPs and Pregnancy (ASNM)
- Utilization Rates of Transcranial Electric Motor Evoked Potential (tceMEP) Monitoring During Extradural Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbosacral Spine Surgery in Large and Small Centers (AAN)