A.V.A.T.A.R®: Revolutionizing U.S. Healthcare 

The consensus is clear: America’s healthcare system is broken. It’s characterized by daunting costs, long wait times, impersonal care, and the looming fear of misdiagnoses. 

One area that exemplifies this is total knee replacements. For over two decades, an unsettling one in five patients have reported dissatisfaction post-surgery due to persistent stiffness and pain. 

 Despite the evident dissatisfaction, the surgical community, bolstered by the biomedical industry, has often misdiagnosed the problem  and prescribed  poor remedies. They’ve invested heavily in creating new implants, integrating computer systems, and harnessing robotics all of which have  failed to  demonstrate any benefit.  Their focus is myopic, ineffective and expensive.   

The complexity surrounding total knee replacements necessitates a broader perspective. After surgery, stiffness is an almost inevitable outcome, a natural healing mechanism. Nature, in its effort to stabilize a damaged knee, doesn’t consider our post-surgery aspirations of skiing or playing tennis. Thus, the challenge lies in ensuring stability while avoiding stiffness. 

Surgeons acknowledge that successful knee replacement hinges on a cocktail of ingredients called Vital Assets. 

 A.V.A.T.A.R®   Alignment of Vital Assets To Accelerate Recovery 

  1. Patient’s and family’s optimization, education and preparation 
  2. Consistency of the anesthesia team,. techniques and operating environment
  3. Mastery in surgical techniques that permit early, full flexibility and stability
  4. Utilization of non-narcotic pain medication protocols

Navigation:  Physician assistants guiding patients through post-operative care. 

  1. Ensuring patients can promptly access medical advice and solutions 
  2.  Early identification and resolution of complications
  3.  Rehabilitation focused on motion to prevent stiffness
  4. Swift intervention in cases of emerging stiffness

Despite this acknowledgement, a chasm persists between intent and execution. Surgeons, believing they are incorporating all these ingredients, often focus singularly on the surgical procedure, assuming, mistakenly, that others may manage the rest. Often, due to oversight, one or more pieces is missed, leading to suboptimal patient outcomes. 

Enter A.V.A.T.A.R® – a holistic approach addressing every ingredient in the recipe, with special emphasis on post-operative rehabilitation to prevent stiffness. A standout feature of A.V.A.T.A.R® is its “Navigation” system – a concierge-style communication managed by surgical physician assistants. Their expertise mirrors that of the surgeons, ensuring proactive problem resolution, leading to minimal complications and exceptional patient satisfaction.   

Unfortunately,  adoption  of concierge level care is hindered by financial considerations. The current fee-for-service model has led to reduced compensation per surgery for surgeons, pushing them towards higher surgical volumes and leaving limited time for patient interactions. While surgeons receive payment for each procedure, extended patient care isn’t compensated.   

The solution? A bundled payment program  where the overall cost is a fraction of the going rates and the money is reallocated to prioritize the patient’s experience. By trimming administrative and facility costs, A.V.A.T.A.R® has more to invest in patient care. This model presents benefits across the board – A.V.A.T.A.R®  offers patients medical optimization, and concierge-level care, ensuring  less pain, faster recovery and   enhanced outcomes. Payers (insurance companies and self-insured employers) pay less, save on administrative costs, benefit from improved data collection, as well as heightened accountability for appropriateness of care. Moreover, transparency is a shared advantage for all stakeholders. A.V.A.T.A.R® means better care at  lower cost.   

The efficacy of A.V.A.T.A.R® is evident. For total joints, complication rates under A.V.A.T.A.R® (considering infections, re-admissions, re-operations) are a mere tenth of the national average. Moreover, the previously persistent 20% dissatisfaction rate is virtually eradicated, with patient-reported outcome scores averaging an impressive 9.4 out of 10. Crucially, A.V.A.T.A.R® can be applied across a wide range of surgical specialties  not just joint replacement. 

All agree that the current medical system is undeniably too expensive reaching levels of unsustainability. The fragmented fee-for-service methods, single-payer systems, and tightly regulated private insurance models have consistently encountered escalating administrative costs without satisfying the needs and expectations of patients, payers, and providers. An increasing number of employers are gravitating towards a self-insured model, hoping to bypass intermediaries and achieve both greater accountability and reduced expenses. A.V.A.T.A.R®’s bundled payment, concierge care model is ideally suited to the environment of self-funding employers who want better care, lower cost and more accountability with concrete data.   

 A.V.A.T.A.R®, combined with bundled payment, holds the potential to be the blueprint for numerous medical procedures that have now become routine. Its success underscores the importance of holistic, patient-centered care. Looking ahead, A.V.A.T.A.R® presents a promising model for the delivery of numerous health services, including orthopedics, colonoscopies, cataract surgeries, hernia procedures, and more. For a healthier future, and a more satisfied patient populace, A.V.A.T.A.R® might just be the panacea the U.S. healthcare system desperately seeks.  

To learn more about the A.V.A.T.A.R® Program, here.
See what past patients are saying about their experiences, here

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