Program helped address racial disparities in joint replacements, study says


Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City found that a bundled care program helped reduce disparities in total joint replacements for Black patients.

Five things to know:

1. A study analyzed disparities between Black and white patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement surgery before and after Medicare's Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model was implemented in 2016, according to a June 1 news release. The model gives healthcare organizations a single payment for all services in an episode of care.

2. The study looked at nearly 1.5 million hip replacement surgeries between 2013 and 2018. Five percent of patients were Black.

3. The bundled payment program led to improvements in key outcomes. Black patients saw larger reductions in 90-day and 180-day readmission rates as well as in Medicare payments related to skilled nursing facilities.

4. Researchers could not determine if the model caused reductions in disparities. However, they identified bundled payments as a potential strategy to address racial disparities in healthcare.

5. The study's findings were published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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