Post-Discharge Care Duration, Charges, and Outcomes Among Medicare Patients After Primary Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty

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Abstract

Background:

In April 2016, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiated mandatory 90-day bundled payments for total hip and knee arthroplasty for much of the country. Our goal was to determine duration of care, 90-day charges, and readmission rates by discharge disposition and U.S. region after hip or knee arthroplasty.

Methods:

Using the 2008 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review database 100% sample, we identified patients who had undergone elective primary total hip or knee arthroplasty. We collected data on patient age, sex, comorbidities, U.S. Census region, discharge disposition, duration of care, 90-day charges, and readmission. Multivariate regression was used to assess factors associated with readmission (logistic) and charges (linear). Significance was set at p < 0.01.

Results:

Patients undergoing 138,842 total hip arthroplasties were discharged to home (18%), home health care (34%), extended-care facilities (35%), and inpatient rehabilitation (13%); patients undergoing 329,233 total knee arthroplasties were discharged to home (21%), home health care (38%), extended-care facilities (31%), and inpatient rehabilitation (10%). Patients in the Northeast were more likely to be discharged to extended-care facilities or inpatient rehabilitation than patients in other regions. Patients in the West had the highest 90-day charges. Approximately 70% of patients were discharged home from extended-care facilities, whereas after inpatient rehabilitation, >50% of patients received home health care. Among those discharged to home, 90-day readmission rates were highest in the South (9.6%) for patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and in the Midwest (8.7%) and the South (8.5%) for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. Having ≥4 comorbidities, followed by discharge to inpatient rehabilitation or an extended-care facility, had the strongest associations with readmission, whereas the region of the West and the discharge disposition to inpatient rehabilitation had the strongest association with higher charges.

Conclusions:

Among Medicare patients, discharge disposition and number of comorbidities were most strongly associated with readmission. Inpatient rehabilitation and the West region had the strongest associations with higher charges.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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