Outpatient Joint Replacement?

Arthritis Today|May/June 2020

Outpatient Joint Replacement?
MEDICARE NOW COVERS THIS SURGERY, BUT IT’S NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE.

When it’s finally time for your knee or hip replacement, Medicare can help you have the surgery in the morning and be home in time for supper. It now pays for knee replacements in freestanding ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and for hip replacements in hospital outpatient departments. Both allow you to go home the same day of surgery.

Less time in a medical setting lowers the risk of infections as well as costs. In addition, surgical patients are often happier and do better at home, according to William Hozack, MD, a surgeon at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia.

Risk vs. Benefits

Despite this, there has been stiff opposition to the Medicare plan, mainly from the American Hospital Association. Aside from lost revenue, it argues that ASC patients are more likely to have blood clots, infections and other complications or poorly controlled pain.

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May/June 2020