The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 2072 - 2074

One-Stage Periprosthetic Joint Infection Reimbursement—Is It Worth The Effort?

Fehring, Keith A. et al.
Hip Knee

Background

One-stage protocols for the management of periprosthetic infection take an extended period of time requiring two separate preps and sets of instruments to ensure optimal sterility. While intraoperative service time is one part of the reimbursement algorithm, reimbursement has lagged behind for single-stage treatment with respect to the time and resources necessary to perform these complex treatment regimens. If one-stage results are shown to be acceptable, but not reimbursed appropriately, surgeons will be discouraged from managing periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) in a one-stage fashion.

Methods

The reimbursement and operative time for 50 PJI procedures were compared with 250 primary total hips and 250 primary total knees by the same 4 surgeons.

Results

The average reimbursement for a one-stage knee procedure was $2,597.08, with an average intraoperative service time of 259 minutes ($601.60/h). The average reimbursement for a primary total knee was $2,435.00, with an average intraoperative service time of 100 minutes ($1,461/h). The average reimbursement for a one-stage hip procedure was $2,826.17, with an average intraoperative service time of 311 minutes ($545.24/h). The average reimbursement for a primary total hip was $2,754.71 with an average intraoperative service time of 104 minutes ($1,589.26/h).

Conclusion

One-stage procedures for PJI are reimbursed at approximately 1/3 the hourly rate of a primary procedure, which may discourage surgeons from selecting this treatment alternative even if recent studies confirm efficacy. Payers should be encouraged to reimburse physicians commensurate with the intraoperative service time needed to perform a one-stage procedure as adoption will decrease morbidity and save the healthcare system financially.

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