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Connecticare Members Benefit from the Step Ahead Plan at the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at Saint Francis

FARMINGTON, CT (October 25, 2016) – ConnectiCare, one of Connecticut’s leading health plans, is happy to announce the extension of its agreement with The Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI) at Saint Francis to offer an innovative program for total hip and knee replacement surgery. The program, called the Step Ahead Plan delivers high quality care while controlling costs. In the last three years, over 300 ConnectiCare members have benefitted from the program which coordinates the treatment provided by the hospital, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist into one well managed care experience. 

The Step Ahead Plan at CJRI is a collaborative effort between Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, The Connecticut Joint Replacement Surgeons LLC, and Woodland Anesthesia Associates, P.C. It represents the implementation of standardized best practices and protocols for the delivery of highest-quality joint replacement care. Through an integrated model of health care services from the hospital, the orthopedic surgeons at CJRI, and affiliated anesthesiologists, the Step Ahead Plan features one bundled price for all hospital-related and post-acute services for all aspects of the patient’s surgery, rather than a separate price for each caregiver. 

Over the past several years, since the implementation of The Step Ahead Plan, length of hospital stay for these patients has decreased from 3.7 days to less than two days, and implant and consumable costs have declined. And, patient satisfaction scores have consistently been above the 95th percentile.  

Dr. Wayne Rawlins, ConnectiCare’s Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, commented, “Partnering with CJRI at Saint Francis on the Step Ahead Plan is an example of how we work with hospitals and other health care providers to improve our members’ care experience and the quality of care they receive, while lowering costs at the same time. We have programs like this in place to make it easy for members to receive the care they need.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with ConnectiCare to offer the Step Ahead Plan to our patients requiring total joint replacement surgery. This comprehensive package for all costs incurred within the hospital setting now includes post-acute services and a “warranty” for 90 days after discharge from the hospital - the first of its kind in New England,” said Steven Schutzer, M.D., Medical Director, CJRI. “Most importantly, our patients are extremely pleased with their experience and we strive hard every day to make sure they have the best possible outcome.”

About ConnectiCare

ConnectiCare is a leading health plan in the state of Connecticut.  ConnectiCare’s mission is to make it easy for members to get the care they need. A local company for 35 years, ConnectiCare has a full range of products and services for businesses, municipalities, individuals and those who are Medicare-eligible. A subsidiary of EmblemHealth, ConnectiCare leads the individual, Medicare and small group markets in the state, and is ranked among the top commercial health plans in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. For more information, visit connecticare.com or chooseconnecticare.com.

About Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute

The Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI) at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center opened in July 2007.  CJRI has performed over 26,000 joint replacement procedures and is recognized as one of the leading joint replacement institutes in the United States.  Our commitment is to provide the highest value, most comprehensive care for our patients.