Revision total hip arthroplasty: hospital cost and reimbursement analysis

John F Crowe, Thomas P Sculco, Barbara Kahn
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 2003, (413): 175-82
Revision total hip arthroplasty is a complex surgical procedure that frequently requires high levels of hospital resources. The purpose of the current study was to report the actual costs and reimbursement to the hospital for a stratified group of patients having revision total hip arthroplasty based on a severity index. The clinical and financial records of 49 patients (51 hips) stratified by complexity of revision were reviewed. Clinical variable included age, length of stay, operating time, estimated blood loss, number of transfusions, implant type, metallic augmentation, use of bone graft, and time spent in the postanesthesia care unit. Financial review included the actual fixed and variable costs associated with each procedure. Hospital costs associated with revision total hip arthroplasty were significantly greater in the most complex revisions and in older patients. The use of bone grafting techniques on the femur resulted in significantly greater costs. The average loss to the hospital was $5402 US dollars per procedure with a range of $5657 (US dollars) profit to $28,780 (US dollars) loss. Procedures in patients younger than 65 years has an average loss of $1133 US dollars. All procedures in patients who were 65 years or older resulted in a loss to the hospital, with the average loss being $8617 US dollars. Despite improvements in length of stay, use of clinical pathways, and negotiated discounts on implants, the hospital loss on each hip revision procedure averaged $5402 US dollars.

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