The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 1867 - 1871

A Novel, Synergistic Model in Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Report of 2 Specialty Hospitals With Joint Ownership Between Physicians and Healthcare Systems

Rondon, Alexander J. et al.
Hip Knee

Background

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act introduced new restrictions on the expansion of physician-owned hospitals (POHs) due to concerns over financial incentives and increased costs. The purpose of this study is to determine whether joint ventures between tertiary care and specialty hospitals (SHs) allowing physician ownership (POHs) have improved outcomes and lower cost following THA and TKA.

Methods

After institutional review board approval, a retrospective review of consecutive series of primary THA and TKA patients from 2015 to 2016 across a single institution comprised of 14 full-service hospitals and 2 SHs owned as a joint venture between physicians and their health system partners. Ninety-day episode-of-care claims cost data from Medicare and a single private insurer were reviewed with the collection of the same demographic data, medical comorbidities, and readmission rates for both the SHs and non-SHs. A multivariate regression analysis was performed to determine the independent effect of the SHs on episode-of-care costs.

Results

Of the 6537 patients in the study, 1936 patients underwent a total joint arthroplasty at an SH (29.6%). Patients undergoing a procedure at an SH had shorter lengths of stay (1.29 days vs 2.23 days for Medicare, 1.15 vs 1.86 for private payer, both P < .001), were less likely to be readmitted (4% vs 7% for Medicare, P = .001), and had lower mean 90-day episode-of-care costs ($16,661 vs $20,579 for Medicare, $26,166 vs $35,222 for private payers, both P < .001). When controlling for the medical comorbidities and demographic variables, undergoing THA or TKA at an SH was associated with a decrease in overall episode costs ($3266 for Medicare, $13,132 for private payer, both P < .001).

Conclusion

Even after adjusting for a healthier patient population, the joint venture partnership with health systems and physician-owned SHs demonstrated lower 90-day episode-of-care costs than non-SHs following THA and TKA. Policymakers and practices should consider these data when considering the current care pathways.

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