The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 12 , 3612 - 3616

Skilled Nursing Facilities After Total Knee Arthroplasty: The Time for Selective Partnerships Is Now!

Ryan, Sean P. et al.
Knee

Background

Bundled payment initiatives for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients are dramatically impacted by discharges to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), making target prices set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services difficult to achieve. However, we hypothesized that a granular examination of SNF discharges would reveal that some may disproportionately increase costs compared to others.

Methods

The institutional database was retrospectively queried for primary TKA patients under bundled payment initiatives. The 4 most common SNFs utilized by our patient population (A, B, C, and D) were investigated for length of stay, cost of care, and whether the overall target price for the episode of care (EOC) was reached.

Results

In total, 1223 TKA patients were analyzed, with 378 (30.9%) discharged to an SNF and 246 patients selecting one of the 4 most common SNFs (A: 198, B: 21, C: 15, D: 12). Each SNF represented a significant fiscal portion of the total EOC; however, SNF D had significantly longer length of stay (21 vs 13 days, P < .001) and cost of care ($11,805 vs $6015, P < .001) relative to the others, resulting in no EOC under the target price. SNF costs >24.6% of the total EOC were predictive of exceeding the target price.

Conclusion

Bundled payment models are significantly impacted by SNF disposition; however, select facilities disproportionately impact this system. In order to maintain free patient selection for disposition, post-acute care facilities must be held accountable for controlling cost, or a separate bundled payment provided.


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