Title

Cost Savings in a Surgeon-Directed BPCI Program for Total Joint Arthroplasty

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2018

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There are few studies available on the savings generated and strategies employed for cost reduction in total joint arthroplasty. In this study, our organization-a group of private practices partnering with a consultant-aimed to analyze the impact of a preoperative protocol on overall cost savings.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using administrative data from the Medicare Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative, 771 consecutive total joint arthroplasty patients from 2009-2014 were compared with 408 consecutive BPCI patients from 2014-2017. The 30-day episode and Medicare part B total cost of care was analyzed. This included inpatient and post-discharge expenditure, laboratory and imaging costs, physician and ER visits, and readmission.

RESULTS: Average total episode cost declined by $3,174 or 13% from $23,925 to $20,752 (p<0.001) in the BPCI period. Readmission rate was unchanged (p=0.20), and there was a 48% reduction in the percent of patients presenting to the emergency room (p=.03). There was a decline of $2,647 (78%) in skilled nursing cost per case, which represented the majority of savings. Post-discharge imaging, laboratory test claims, postoperative emergency room visits, primary care physician (PCP) visits, and cost per episode all decreased. The decrease in PCP utilization did not result in increased medical complications or readmissions.

CONCLUSION: Our preoperative patient-education protocol has decreased non-home discharge, unnecessary postoperative physician visits, and diagnostic testing resulting in an episode cost savings of 13%. With Advanced BPCI on the horizon, orthopedic surgeon control as the awardee of the bundle, combined with an increasing focus on patient education, will continue to lower costs and improve patient care.

Comments

This article was published in Surgical Technology International.

Copyright © 2018.

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