NOVO Hosts Innovation Event at Lambeau

October 02, 2017

OSI's Ken Schaufelberger addresses the audience at Lambeau Field.

NOVO Health and Stryker hosted a signature event at Lambeau Field on September 27. The gathering focused on healthcare innovations that reduce cost, improve quality, and enhance the patient experience.

Led by NOVO Health and Orthopedic & Sports Institute CEO Curt Kubiak, the event provided business leaders and key community stakeholders the opportunity to learn about design thinking, a method of attacking complex problems through empathy and experimentation to find innovative solutions that meet people’s needs.

The evening highlighted Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery, the leading-edge technology for joint replacement surgery. The Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI) is the exclusive provider of the Mako platform in northeast Wisconsin.

A panel of three OSI orthopedic surgeons discussed the new robotic techniques and the benefits for their patients. Dr. Padraic Obma, Dr. David Eggert, and Dr. Ken Schaufelberger all use the Mako robotic-arm assisted technology for hip and knee replacement candidates.

“With Mako,” said Obma, “I can confidently tell a patient I can give them the most precise joint replacement surgery possible.”

Eggert, an early adopter of the technology, had both of his hips replaced using robotic surgery.

“You want a procedure that takes into account your specific anatomy, and this is it,” he said. “The robot assures accuracy.”

Schaufelberger presented a video testimonial of his first robotic patient, a partial knee recipient who stated she could not have had a better experience.

“The response of the Mako patients is nothing short of excellent,” Schaufelberger said. “I think in ten years this is the way most joint replacement surgeries will be done.”

The evening also spotlighted NOVO Health’s Direct Contracting, an alternative healthcare payment model that provides savings for self-insured employers and their employees through bundled pricing of surgical procedures. 

With price bundling, all the fees – facility fee, surgeon fee, anesthesia, overnight care in a skilled nursing facility, physical therapy – are combined into a single bill, a fixed price known in advance for an entire episode of care.

“Direct contracting provides transparency and simplicity,” said Kubiak, “as well as the opportunity for employers to direct significant savings back into their business and workforce.”

An industry leader in direct contracting, NOVO Health currently offers over 90 bundled procedures in orthopedics, spine, oncology, and plastic surgery.

Besides price bundling, direct contracting offers a number of benefits to users, including enhanced access to providers, all diagnostic and treatment options available at a single location, and a post-operative warranty.

Melanie Zuehls, Healthcare Coordinator for Brakebush Brothers, said their Direct Contract with NOVO helped reduce Brakebush’s medical spend in 2016 by $150,000. Her goal was to double that by the end of 2017.

“In the first nine months of this year, we have already realized over $300,000 in medical savings,” she said. "And our employees are ecstatic about the care they have received."

The evening culminated with keynote speaker Doug Dietz, principal industrial designer and innovation architect at GE Healthcare. In his 27 years at GE, Dietz has designed award winning imaging products for MRI, CT, X-ray, and ultrasound, transforming traumatic scanning rooms into child-friendly experiences through the use of design thinking methodologies.

Dietz is also an instructor and design thinking coach at Stanford University.