Time-driven activity-based cost of outpatient total hip and knee arthroplasty in different set-upsHenrik Husted, Billy B Kristensen, Signe E Andreasen, Christian Skovgaard Nielsen, Anders Troelsen & Kirill Gromov
Background and purpose — Length of stay (LOS) following total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA and TKA) has been reduced over the years due to fast-track. Short stays of 2 days in fast-track departments in Denmark have resulted in low total costs of around US$2,550. Outpatient THA and TKA is gaining popularity, albeit in a limited and selected group of patients; however, the financial benefit of outpatient arthroplasty remains unknown. We present baseline detailed economic calculations of outpatient THA and TKA in 2 different settings: one from the hospital and another from the ambulatory surgery department.
Patients and methods — Data from 6 patients (1 TKA, 1 uncemented THA, 1 cemented THA in each department) were collected prospectively using the Time Driven Activity Based Costing method (TDABC). Time consumed by different staff members involved in patient treatment in the perioperative period of outpatient THA and TKA was calculated in 2 different settings: one in the orthopedic department and one in the ambulatory surgery department.
Results — LOS was around 11 h in the orthopedic department and around 7 h in the ambulatory surgery department, respectively. TDABC revealed minor differences in the operative settings between departments and similar expenses occurred during the short stay of US$777 and US$746, respectively. Adding the preoperative preparation and postoperative follow-up resulted in total cost of US$951 and US$942 for the ward and the ambulatory surgery department, respectively.
Interpretation — Outpatient THA and TKA in hospital and ambulatory surgery departments results in similar cost using the TDABC method. Compared with the cost associated with 2-day stays, outpatient procedures are around two-thirds cheaper provided no increase occurs in complications or readmissions.