Registry Participation Makes it Easier for Reimbursement Authorization

Blue Shield of California is the First Insurer to Offer this Benefit

Rosemont, Ill. – November 11, 2016 – The American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR) is pleased to announce that effective the first quarter of 2017, it is expected that Blue Shield of California's providers that are participants in the Registry will automatically receive authorization for their patients' hip or knee replacement procedures.

"This is great news for the state of California's patients who are having hip or knee replacement surgery," said Dr. James I. Huddleston, III, medical director for the California Jont Replacement Registry (CJRR), a subsidiary of the AJRR. "Automatically receiving authorization for their insurance reimbursement gives patients and providers one less thing to worry about so they can focus on their health and recovery."

The AJRR was created to address the absence of comparative effectiveness information by pooling and analyzing data from surgeons and hospitals from all 50 states. AJRR focuses on hip and knee replacements, and collects patient demographics, device information, and clinical data including patient-reported outcomes. AJRR aims to promote the use of performance information regarding hip and knee replacements to enable better decision making by patients, physicians, other providers, and purchasers, and to improve the quality of orthopaedic care through data. The CJRR has its own state-wide Registry which includes just over 60,000 patients from the state of California, which makes up about 11% of the Registry.

"Blue Shield of California has always been a big proponent of utilizing quality initiatives to provide better care to patients," continued Dr. Huddleston. "I applaud its' leadership for recognizing the importance that Registry participation means to its surgeons and hospitals; saving time and money by making it easier for surgeons to not duplicate quality initiative efforts; and for giving peace of mind to patients. It would be great if all states follow their lead on this."

 The Blue Shield of California is one example of an enhanced value proposition of Registry participation. AJRR/CJRR offers assistance with several federal quality initiatives, insurer's distinction programs, and state collaboratives. These programs provide reimbursements and other incentives for displaying improvement in the quality of patient care, prompting medical institutions to use clinical data registries like AJRR to compare outcomes success.