The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 8, 1581 - 1584
No Changes in Patient Selection and Value-Based Metrics for Total Hip Arthroplasty After Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Bundle Implementation at a Single CenterPlate, Johannes F. et al.
Alternative payment models for total hip arthroplasty (THA) were initiated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to decrease overall healthcare cost. The associated shift of financial risk to participating institutions may negatively influence patient selection to avoid high cost of care (“cherry picking,” “lemon dropping”). This study evaluated the impact of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model on patient selection, care delivery, and hospital costs at a single care center.
Patients undergoing a primary THA from 2015-2017 were stratified by insurance type (Medicare and commercial insurance) and whether care was provided before (pre-CJR) or after (post-CJR) CJR bundle implementation. Patient age, gender, and body mass index, Elixhauser comorbidities and American Society of Anesthesiologists scores, were analyzed. Delivery of care variables including surgery duration, discharge disposition, length of stay, and direct hospital costs were compared pre- and post-CJR.
A total of 751 THA patients (273 Medicare and 478 commercial Insurance) were evaluated pre-CJR (29%) and post-CJR (71%). Patient demographics were similar (age, gender, BMI); however, commercially insured patients had less comorbidities pre-CJR (P = .033). Medicare patient post-CJR length of stay ( P = .010) was reduced with a trend toward discharge to home ( P = .019). Surgical time, operating room service time, 90-day readmissions and direct hospital costs were similar pre- and post-CJR.
There was no differential patient selection after CJR bundle implementation and value-based metrics (surgical time, operating room service time) were not affected. Patients were discharged sooner and more often to home. However, overall direct hospital expenses remained unchanged revealing that any cost savings were for insurance providers, not participating hospitals.