Like all large medical device manufacturers in the wake of the Sunshine Payments Act, Zimmer Biomet was juggling the delicate balance between operational efficiency and increased external reporting. With a market that spanned 100 countries, it already consumed an extraordinary volume of data for internal compliance reports. Compliance reporting by itself demanded a substantial investment of time, eort and meticulousness. Even so, the probability of human error could not be overlooked. Was there a solution that could help without adding to the complexity of this task? Would it weigh favorably in a cost-benefit analysis?
For Zimmer Biomet, Compliance Insights, a dedicated CMS Open Payments Solution, was an affirmative response to both. Within a short period, Zimmer Biomet recorded 50% time reduction for analytics, and a corresponding error rate reduction. It achieved quantifiable savings in time, efficiency, and gained better insights.
Compliance Analytics Before qordata
Compliance Reporting fell in three areas: Data validation, data attestation and industry evaluation/benchmarking. The attestation report was submitted to the CFO, reflecting the function’s activity throughout the year. The report consumed approximately 8 hours to pull documentation, with subsequent processes demanding 16 to 20 hours over a 4-week period. At the time, the Director Compliance was responsible for developing attestation reports with only 6 FTEs.
Although Zimmer Biomet understood that spreadsheet software was too simplistic to meet CMS reporting needs, it was not actively seeking a sophisticated solution when it acquired a subscription for qordata’s Compliance Insights. At the time, qordata had longstanding industry experience in Data Analytics (SaaS solutions) Master Data Management, BI, Pharmaceuticals and Software Engineering. It was chosen for its speed, flexibility, customer service, and responsiveness. Compliance Insights, was engaged at three stages.
qordata had longstanding industry experience in Data Analytics (SaaS solutions) Master Data Management, BI, Pharmaceuticals and Software Engineering. It was chosen for its speed, flexibility, customer service, and responsiveness.
In 2014, there were 6,500 medical device manufacturers in the United States of America. As competitive activity confirmed, it was no longer enough to have superior performance, but to promote this visibly and aggressively. The CMS Website already hosted 4.46 million records for 2013 on its website, with a transaction value of $3.91 billion. Within just one year, these figures would grow to 11.84 million records with a total value of $7.48 billion.
Stage I-Data Validation
“Comparison by year,” “data visualization” (e.g. scatterplots) and other functionality embedded in Compliance Insights’ dashboards allowed a quick appraisal of historical data. As a result, Zimmer Biomet could instantly explain outliers emerging from acquisitions, changes in reporting methodology or other externalities. This had simply not been possible in the manual process. Similarly TOV amounts out of the ordinary (too high or too low) were now highlighted against each category, not just meals.
Data housekeeping was another benefit. Limitations in data interpretation and posting
within Zimmer Biomet’s sales staff were discovered after AgSpend Issues related to charitable TOVs Vs Grants were highlighted. The existing system would also have highlighted it. Compliance Insights simply made it faster. Optical misrepresentation was another risk the qordata solution helped avert. With correct categorization and presentation of reportable TOVs, qordata ensured that information media accessed about Zimmer Biomet and the interpretation it drew from it was completely in congruence with the actual internal data view.
Stage II-Data Attestation
Compliance at Zimmer Biomet was responsible for compiling all the data which went into the CFO’s attestation report. Before engaging Compliance Insights, this meant reverting to specific figures within spreadsheets for each query the CFO’s office raised. For a report to be fully compliant, this meant several iterations and justifications for a single cost category.
Again, the possibility of human error could not be overlooked.
The advantage of Compliance Insights dashboards was that each cost category was represented visually. Instead of manually
reviewing or sorting spreadsheet data for outliers, the Zimmer Biomet team simply had to click on a specific TOV to learn more. The results would be displayed via scatterplots, bar charts or other statistical tools, which simplified and sharpened insights.
The biggest benefit was flexibility. For Zimmer Biomet, whose constant drive to efficiency meant resources were often overextended and juggled multiple roles, Compliance Insights’ user-friendly platform enabled work to continue uninterrupted, with no downtime for training and/or onboarding. The assurance was implicit.
Stage III-Data Analysis
Compliance Insights prepared internal information for audit readiness, and escalated analytics capabilities manifold. It was now possible to complete vertical and horizontal analyses of internal, competitor and industry data, drill-up and drill-down analysis by HCO, HCP, specialty, drug, location instantly and in much more detail.
Identifying ‘top physicians’ (HCPs) no longer required a constant back-and-forth between internal records and the NPI database. The solution’s instant data representation and custom dashboards made everything visible—instantly and almost effortlessly.
During the first Open Payments Cycle in 2015-2016, Ms. Tope experienced how the solution was “continuously improving,” how its “speed, features, and functionality just keep getting better.”
“The right technology and the right expertise….Others in the space don’t have it. The care, concern, and coding proficiency of
qordata professionals is unparalleled.”
Kelly J Tope, Zimmer Biomet’s Director, Compliance praised the solution’s slick and data-intensive platform. “It is better than most vendors I’ve worked with over my career. Having worked with IT vendors, I never receive deliverables on time. Usually they’re late and I get visibility upon follow up. With the qordata team, I usually get it earlier than estimated time.” She reiterated that it is “rare” for a software company to deliver ahead of schedule, and qordata’s alacrity had been a refreshing surprise.
The right technology and the right expertise….Others in the space don’t have it. The care, concern, and coding proficiency of qordata professionals is unparalleled.Kelly Tope
In December 2016, Zimmer Biomet renewed its qordata SaaS subscription.
Experiencing measurable benefits from its agility and responsiveness, Zimmer Biomet was happy to recommend qordata as a vendor to similar organizations.
In its NPS (Net Promoter Score), it gave qordata a perfect 10.