Health & Family

OrthoCarolina appoints new leader

Dr. Dan Murrey steps down as CEO of OrthoCarolina July 1, but he’ll remain the chief executive of Transformant Healthcare Solutions, a management company that advises doctor groups.
Dr. Dan Murrey steps down as CEO of OrthoCarolina July 1, but he’ll remain the chief executive of Transformant Healthcare Solutions, a management company that advises doctor groups. OrthoCarolina

Dr. Dan Murrey, who has been CEO of Charlotte-based OrthoCarolina for eight years, is stepping down July 1 to focus on the management company, Transformant Healthcare Solutions, that serves OrthoCarolina and other physician groups interested in “value-based care.”

Murrey’s successor as chief executive will be Dr. Bruce Cohen, a foot and ankle surgeon since 1997 who has been with OrthoCarolina since its founding in 2005.

Cohen has been vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the operations committee at OrthoCarolina, one of the nation’s largest orthopedic practices. The group’s 130 physicians have nearly one million patient visits throughout Western North Carolina each year.

Murrey, a spine surgeon, has been leading both OrthoCarolina and the management company for the past year and said, “I need some help.” He is also a former Mecklenburg County commissioner and was chairman of the Charlotte host committee for the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Transformant Healthcare Solutions has grown to have eight clients, including OrthoCarolina and physician groups in other states, who want advice on doing the type of work OrthoCarolina has pioneered on “patient success and value-based care,” Murrey said.

The term value-based care refers to OrthoCarolina’s use of “bundled payments” to simplify billing and improve coordination of care. Patients undergoing knee and hip replacements at participating hospitals get a single bill that covers preoperative care, surgery, followup appointments, 90 days of physical therapy and the services of a guide through the process.

If all goes well and care is delivered for less than the contract price, the hospital and doctors keep the savings. If there are complications and the patient needs more care, the hospital and doctors absorb the extra cost. Either way, the patient and the insurance company pay only what they agreed to in advance.

The bundled payment system differs from the prevailing “fee-for-service” system under which doctors and hospitals get paid for every patient encounter, even when patients develop complications. Murrey said the bundled payment system “aligns everybody’s incentives to be focused on the right thing.”

Murrey said physician groups have been “asking us to help them get into the value-based health care world … and that business has grown so quickly.”

Karen Garloch: 704-358-5078, @kgarloch

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