Virginia Mason Warranty for Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery

Virginia Mason is the first health system in Seattle, and among the first in the United States, to offer a surgical warranty to insurance companies and employers. Virginia Mason’s surgical warranty for hip and knee replacements protects patients and their insurance companies or employers from incurring additional costs for treatment of avoidable, surgery-related complications.


“Under the current reimbursement system in our country, hospitals are often paid more for surgery that does not go well than for surgery that is completely successful. We find this unacceptable and contrary to the needs of patients, employers and insurers paying the bill.”

— Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason


The Virginia Mason team will work with each insurance company and employer to develop terms and pricing of the warranty. If you have questions about the warranty, please contact David LaMarche, Virginia Mason’s administrative director, Finance and Contracting, at

Virginia Mason’s surgical warranty does not cover complications due to failure of the surgical implant device.

What is the Surgical Warranty for Hip and Knee Replacement?

The warranty is part of a bundled-care contract now available to employers and insurance companies. It requires all services related to a patient’s hip or knee replacement be delivered by Virginia Mason providers including:

  • Diagnosis and pre surgical testing
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation

The warranty expands the opportunity for more businesses to access the high-quality, bundled care that is the foundation of Virginia Mason’s inclusion in the national Employers Centers of Excellence Network. Hospitals in that network provide predictable-cost knee and hip procedures for employees of several large companies, including Walmart and Lowe’s.

In the News:

Virginia Mason’s Joint Replacement Program

Located in Virginia Mason’s newest facility, the joint replacement program has a 24-bed (all private rooms) unit with accommodations for overnight visitors. The Jones Pavilion Ortho Unit is designed to provide a therapeutic experience, with supplies at point of use. The facility was modeled on principles of the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS), focused on safety, patient satisfaction and efficiency. The joint replacement program at Virginia Mason includes pre-operative joint replacement classes, on-line programs, and joint replacement “Journey” books outlining the process from admission for surgery through discharge.


“Through our application of Virginia Mason Production System principles, we’ve been able to design consistently high-quality care pathways for orthopedics and other services.”

— Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason



U.S. News & World Report recently recognized Virginia Mason for its high performance in six specialties, including orthopedics, in the Best Hospitals rankings for 2013-14. More than 90 percent of our surgeons have completed advanced training in clinical fellowships, compared to a national average of 42 percent. Our 20 physicians and numerous allied health professionals have received the most advanced training in their fields.

Virginia Mason received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for the fourth consecutive year from Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about U.S. physicians and hospitals.

About Joint Replacements

In the U.S., 719,000 knee replacement surgeries and 332,000 hip replacements were performed in 2010, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Driven by demand from the aging Baby Boomer generation, the number of both surgeries has dramatically increased since 2000 and costs Medicare about $6 billion annually, according to various reports.

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced with a prosthetic implant. It is typically performed to relieve arthritis-related pain or treat joint damage following a hip fracture.

Knee replacement is a surgery to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint and relieve pain or disability caused by osteoarthritis, or to relieve discomfort caused by rheumatoid arthritis.