Social Determinants of Health in Total Hip Arthroplasty: Are They Associated With Costs, Lengths of Stay, and Patient Reported Outcomes?

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BACKGROUND: Social determinants of health (SDOH) may play a larger role in predicting patient outcomes as outpatient total hip arthroplasty (THA) expands. We specifically examined the association between SDOH and patient metrics (demographics and comorbidities) for: (1) 30-day post-discharge costs of care; (2) lengths of stay (LOS); and (3) patient-reported outcomes (Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcomes Score for Joints Replacement (HOOS JR)).

METHODS: Medicare patients who underwent primary THA between 2018 and 2019 were identified. Those who had complete social determinant data were included (n = 136). Data elements were drawn from institutional, regional, and government databases, as well as the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine SDOH and baseline comorbidities associations with costs, LOS, and HOOS JR scores.

RESULTS: Various SDOH factors were associated with higher 30-day costs, including residing in a food desert ($53,695 ± 15,485; P < .001) and the following SVI themes: 'Minority Status and Language' ($24,075 ± 9845; P = .01) and 'Housing and Transportation' ($16,190 ± 8501; P = .06), although the latter did not meet statistical significance. Baseline depression was associated with longer LOS (P = .02), while none of the other SDOH or patient metrics affected LOS. No relationships were observed between SDOH and HOOS JR changes from baseline.

CONCLUSION: Patients who live in food deserts and have minority status had higher costs of care after primary THA. Poor housing and transportation may also increase costs, albeit insignificantly. These results highlight the utility of assessing SDOH-related risk factors to optimize post-operative outcomes, with potential implications for bundled care.


This article was published in Journal of Arthroplasty.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.02.043.

Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc.

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Journal of Arthroplasty

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