The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 9 , 2759 - 2763

Predictors and Cost of Readmission in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Urish, Kenneth L. et al.


The Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundle was created to decrease total knee arthroplasty (TKA) cost. To help accomplish this, there is a focus on reducing TKA readmissions. However, there is a lack of national representative sample of all-payer hospital admissions to direct strategy, identify risk factors for readmission, and understand actual readmission cost.


We used the Nationwide Readmission Database to examine national readmission rates, predictors of readmission, and associated readmission costs for elective TKA procedures. We fit a multivariable logistic regression model to examine factors associated with readmission. Then, we determined mean readmission costs and calculated the readmission cost when distributed across the entire TKA population.


We identified 224,465 patients having TKA across all states participating in the Nationwide Readmission Database. The mean unadjusted 30-day TKA readmission rate was 4%. The greatest predictors of readmission were congestive heart failure (odds ratio [OR] 2.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.62-2.80), renal disease (OR 2.19, 95% CI 2.03-2.37), and length of stay greater than 4 days (OR 2.4, 95% CI 2.25-2.61). The overall median cost for each readmission was $6753 ± 175. Extrapolating the readmission cost for the entire TKA population resulted in the readmission cost being 2% of the overall 30-day procedure cost.


A major focus of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundle is improving cost and quality by limiting readmission rates. TKA readmissions are low and comprise a small percentage of total TKA cost, suggesting that they may not be the optimal measure of quality care or a significant driver of overall cost.

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