Here are some of the most common questions Advantien is asked about our services and our responses. If you have a question not addressed here, or would like additional information on a topic addressed below, please contact us.

Q: What implants does Advantien manage?

We specialize in products for spine and orthopedic procedures. Spine implants typically present the greatest opportunity for savings, given their high prices, high manufacturer profit margins and the large number of companies that offer comparable products. Cost savings on even a small number of spine-implant related procedures can result in noticeable improvements to a bottom line. Depending on volume and product mix, significant opportunities also exist for total joints, sports medicine and trauma/extremities procedures.

Q: What set of Advantien services is right for me?

Each of Advantien's solutions is highly customized for an individual facility's needs. After analyzing your current situation and desired goals, we'll present the set of implant management services that we believe are best for you. We can implement the full range of services all at once, or implement one solution at a time.

Q: How are surgeons affected by Advantien's service implementation?

We strive for zero surgeon disruption, and can provide substantial benefits to your facility without any changes to surgeon preference items. For example, with no surgeon involvement or disruption, Advantien will negotiate a sizeable level of savings with their existing/preferred vendors; nothing will change from the surgeons' perspectives.

Where a surgeon wants to be more actively involved, we are very effective in leveraging their support to maximize the savings achieved. With a minimal amount of involvement — surgeons telling their reps they support the savings initiative, and even supporting specific price points — a greater level of savings can be achieved. For surgeons willing to explore alternative vendors that offer equal products at substantially reduced price points, even more dramatic savings can be achieved (50%+).

We always seek support and guidance from administration before approaching surgeons. We won't do anything to impact surgeons without first gaining administration support.

Q: How is the facility administration (e.g., materials management) affected?

Again, we strive for minimal disruption. If Advantien only negotiates lower pricing from your exiting vendors, the only difference will be that your materials managers will see lower pricing on their charge sheets/invoices than they did before.

If Advantien takes on a greater implant management role (e.g., managing and centralizing vendor charge sheets, purchase orders, payments, etc.), then any change to your existing processes will only be those that you specifically ask us to help improve (and which we'll proactively propose, when we see opportunities for process improvements).

Q: How are our current vendors and sales reps affected?

Once new pricing is established, there will be no change from their existing workflow. For example, sales reps will still be notified of upcoming surgeries the same way (e.g., through the surgeon's or facility's surgery schedulers), must ensure their products arrive in time for the surgeries, attend surgeries as they usually do, etc. Depending on the set of customized implant management services we provide to your facility, the reps may begin to send their charge sheets to Advantien rather than the materials management personnel. In this case, Advantien will manage and process the vendor paperwork, but none of the vendors' logistics or clinical support will change.

Note: Since our services are customized to each facility, if there are opportunities for logistics improvements which you'd like to implement with vendors, we'll happily facilitate these changes.

Q: How is Advantien different than a GPO?

First, we can, and do, work alongside any organization's existing GPOs. Our services are complementary to GPOs'.

Second, there are three main reasons GPOs cannot negotiate the lowest prices possible on implants:

  1. They must establish prices that are high enough to ensure virtually any vendor will be willing to sell their devices for those prices to nearly any facility across the country. If they set prices too low, vendors may choose not to participate with that GPO. This will mean that each facility will be left to negotiate on their own with those vendors (which doesn't look good for the GPO) or, if the facility chooses to only work with GPO-approved vendors, it will mean that surgeons may not have access to their preferred vendors (which, again, does not look for the GPO).
  2. When working directly with individual facilities, vendors will almost always agree to lower pricing than they've agreed to with a nationwide GPO contract. The low prices that Advantien negotiates for a single facility will not have the type of impact on a manufacturer's revenue as might a change in a nationwide GPO's prices.
  3. Lower prices can be achieved by targeting key products used at your facility versus requiring a vendor to meet specific pricing for the full range of their products (including products that are not used at your facility). Advantien will customize a pricing strategy specific to your facility that will exceed the savings obtained by a GPO.

Q: How is Advantien different than a pricing consultant?

Extracting the most value from your implants requires more than comparing your implant prices to benchmark pricing in a spreadsheet, which is what most pricing consultants do. Utilizing benchmark pricing is certainly an important piece in Advantien's analysis, but is a small piece of the overall strategy.

We specialize in spine and orthopedic implants. Traditional pricing consultants may do a decent job across many product types, but Advantien's spine and orthopedic implant specialization allows us to get the best pricing for your most expensive cost categories. Advantien has negotiated prices with most major (and many minor) spinal and orthopedic implant manufacturers.

Traditional pricing consultants often charge an upfront fee based on expected savings. We do not charge any upfront fees — and typically charge no fees (see the FAQ on Advantien's fees).

Q: How is Advantien different than a payor contract analysis company?

Typical payor contract analysts tend to have broader scopes of service (analyzing charge master prices, contract compliance, etc.). Our Reimbursement Optimization service covers a relatively small subset of what traditional payor reimbursement consultants provide, but it focuses on the highest-dollar categories and the relationship between implant prices and payor reimbursement for implant-related procedures. This means that our services are largely complementary to, or independent of, what other payor reimbursement specialists provide.

Advantien will analyze your historical implant usage and costs by procedure type, compare those costs to corresponding payor reimbursement, calculate profitability, make recommendations for improvement and implement solutions to improve profitability through use of one or more of our implant management services.

Based on the results of this analysis, Advantien will recommend customized implant management solutions to help improve the profitability of certain procedures which were historically unprofitable or marginally profitable. In some situations, the financial improvement may be sufficient for your facility to capture additional procedures that in the past were not economically feasible to perform at your organization.

Like most of our services, our reimbursement analysis comes at no additional cost to the facility (see the FAQ on Advantien's fees).

Q: How is Advantien different than other "implant management" companies?

Advantien is different in many ways — ways that make Advantien stand out from other companies. Most importantly, other "implant management" companies work for the payors; our customers are the facilities and their surgeons.

Implant management companies typically contract directly with, and buy implants from, the vendors (in addition to contracting with payors). Depending on the customized set of services Advantien provides, we may also contract directly with, and buy implants from, the vendors. Or not. We will provide guidance on the pros and cons, and mutually decide what will best serve your organization.

Most implant management companies have general knowledge of many type of medical devices. They're pretty good at lots of service lines, but probably not great in any. Advantien specializes in spine and orthopedic implants, thereby maximizing your benefits for what is often your most costly implant categories.

Q: What is the cost of Advantien's services?

Typically, our services come at no cost to the facility. Our services are paid out of the margins we can reasonably extract through negotiating lower prices with vendors. We guarantee that our services will drive a net profit to your facility, even after we extract our compensation.

It's possible that your facility has done such an outstanding job negotiating the lowest possible implant prices and optimized your payor reimbursement that Advantien can add little incremental value. If that's the case, we'll tell you.

We always provide a free, no obligation analysis of your historical implant usage, along with a pro forma analysis of your specific savings/profits potential with Advantien's services. Interested in scheduling your analysis? Contact Advantien today.