Patient Advocate: Pam Brooks

Pam Brooks

Patient Advocate

Pam Brooks is the medical coding manager at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire. When her osteoarthritis began to cause problems in her daily life, Pam assumed she would be living in pain for many years because “knee replacement is only done for older people”. Then, Pam experienced what happens after knee surgery with Conformis customized knee replacement technology.

Q: When did you have your surgery?

A: I had surgery in February 2016

Q: What made you decide to get knee replacement surgery?

A: I was tired of dealing with the knee pain. I think it’s really difficult to convey to people that don’t understand arthritis, particularly the kind of arthritis that folks have by the time they’re signing up for a knee replacement – how painful it is. It engulfs your life. It’s all you think about. You can’t sleep. You can’t run. You can’t dance. You plan your life around what you can do or not do because it hurts so much. It’s debilitating. It takes over every thought. It can become depressing and it’s overwhelming. So I decided to do something about it.

Q: As a medical coder, what interested you in Conformis?

A: I have a team of medical coding specialists, documentation improvement specialists and other folks that work with me, so I have a unique perspective with regards to payment for medical devices such as Conformis. Reimbursement is what the hospital is paid by the insurance company for the procedures and the disease that you have. It used to be that hospitals were paid based on how sick the patient was. That’s changing, and insurance companies want to see better outcomes. They want to see patients leaving the hospital in shorter time and in better shape than when they came in. When I spoke with my surgeon, he said that Conformis patients are fitting this description.

Q: How do you feel now that you've had your knee replacement?

A: I feel wonderful today. I’m only seven months away from my surgery, and if I had known a year ago how great I would feel, I would have done this a lot sooner.


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