5 trends in outpatient orthopedics and joint replacement

Outpatient total joint replacements are becoming more common, and ASCs are expanding capabilities to accommodate them.

The Surgery Center at Orthopedic Associates in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the ASC of Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County, added total joint replacements earlier this month and plans to open overnight recovery suites early next year. Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites in Waltham, Mass., became the first freestanding ASC in the state to include total joint replacements in June.

Here are five key trends in ASC total joint replacement.

1. By 2026, Sg2 estimates 52 percent of primary knee replacements — including total and unicompartmental knee replacements — for patients with osteoarthritis will be outpatient.

2. Most of the outpatient total joint replacements will be performed in hospital outpatient departments early on to achieve higher reimbursement and alleviate safety concerns. But the report predicts the affordable pricing and consumer demand for ASCs, as well as site-neutral payment legislation, could move the procedures to the ASC.

3. The average length of stay for partial knee replacements was 2.8 days in 2016, down from 4.6 days in 2000.

4. The CDC reported there were 571,000 knee replacements or repairs performed in the ambulatory setting in 2010, with 201,000 performed in people age 15 to 44 years old. There were 692,000 knee arthroscopies performed in the ambulatory setting and 759,000 excisions of the semilunar cartilage of the knee.

5. CMS has requested comments on whether total knee and hip replacements as well as partial hip replacements should be on the ASC covered list.

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