Medicare says NMMC among best for joint replacement

djournal-medical-news-stockBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo was one of two Mississippi hospitals to make Medicare’s nice list for joint replacement surgery.

“It’s a validation of commitment from our physicians, the facility and our patients,” said Mike Denham, administrator for surgical services.

Earlier this month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released an analysis looking at readmission rates and complication rates for total knee and hip replacements.

Medicare identified 97 hospitals that scored better than average on either or both measures and 95 hospitals that scored worse than average between 2009 and 2012, according to a report by Kaiser Health News. Roughly 95 percent of hospitals were considered average.

NMMC-Tupelo and Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson both had better than average outcomes on complication rates. No Mississippi hospitals had worse than expected complication rates or readmission rates.

Six years ago, NMMC-Tupelo established a joint replacement center in collaboration with the orthopedic surgeons who perform joint replacement surgeries.

“It’s a team concept,” Denham said.

All the patients go through the same pre-operative seminar so they know what to expect before, during and after surgery. They all have surgery on the same days, stay on the same hospital floor and share physical therapy sessions. The concentration of resources and focus helps patients rapidly resume their daily activities.

“Every little step helps at the end of the process,” Denham said.

NMMC and Mississippi Baptist, along with Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg and St. Dominic’s in Jackson, were named Blue Cross & Blue Shield Centers of Excellence in early 2013.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com