Orthopedic surgeons with higher surgical volume see improved outcomes, lower patient costs, study finds


Orthopedic surgeons with high surgical volume were found to have better patient outcomes, according to research from Clarify Health Institute.

Researchers evaluated national health insurance claims on total hip and knee replacements from 2017 to 2020, according to a Jan. 18 news release. More than 178,000 procedures from more than 23,500 physicians were evaluated, and the sample size accounted for about 14 percent of all hip and knee replacements done annually in the U.S.

Four findings:

1. About half of hip and knee replacement episodes fo care were done by physicians who performed less than 50 surgeries from 2017 to 2020.

2. Lower rates of readmission at seven and 60 days were seen in patients with high-volume surgeons (defined as doing 100 or more cases).

3. Combined rates of post-surgical ED visits, inaptient readmissions and revision surgeries were about 14 percent lower for hip replacement patients and 19 percent lower for knee replacement patients who had high-volume surgeons.

3. Total costs for patients with high-volume surgeons were about $2,800 lower for hip replacements and $1,500 lower for knee replacements compared to the costs for patients with low surgical volume (defined as fewer than 10 cases).

4. Combined rate sof negative outcomes for patients were 13 percent to 24 percent lower in outpatient settings and 27 percent to 45 percent lower on average for ASC patients compared to inpatient care.

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