The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 313 - 317.e1

What Are the Costs of Hip Osteoarthritis in the Year Prior to a Total Hip Arthroplasty?

Malik, Azeem T. et al.
Hip

Background

The majority of the cost analysis literature on total hip arthroplasties (THAs) has been focused around the perioperative and postoperative period, with preoperative costs being overlooked.

Methods

The Humana Administrative Claims database was used to identify Medicare Advantage (MA) and Commercial beneficiaries undergoing elective primary THAs. Preoperative healthcare resource utilization in the year prior to a THA was grouped into the following categories: office visits, X-rays, magnetic resonance imagings, computed tomography scans, intra-articular steroid and hyaluronic acid injections, physical therapy, and pain medications. Total 1-year costs and per-patient average reimbursements for each category have been reported.

Results

Total 1-year preoperative costs amounted to $21,022,883 (average = $512/patient) and $4,481,401 (average = $764/patient) for MA and Commercial beneficiaries, respectively. The largest proportion of total 1-year costs was accounted for by office visits (35% in Commercial; 41% in MA) followed by pain medications (28% in Commercial; 35% in MA). Conservative treatments (steroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, physical therapy, and pain medications) alone accounted for 40%-44% of the total 1-year costs prior to a THA. A high healthcare utilization within the last 3 months prior to surgery was noted for opioids and steroid injections.

Conclusion

On average, $500-$800/patient is spent on hip osteoarthritis-related care in the year prior to a THA. Despite their potential risks, opioids and steroid injections are often utilized in the last 3 months prior to surgery.

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