Outpatient ankle fracture surgery costs over 30% less than inpatient: 3 study findings

Ankle fracture procedures performed at lower-cost outpatient surgical facilities provide greater value than surgeries performed in an inpatient setting, according to research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Researchers compared ankle fracture costs at a level 1 trauma hospital and affiliated outpatient surgery center using a case-costing system. Out of the 148 patients studied, 61 patients underwent inpatient surgery and 87 underwent outpatient surgery.

The key study details to know:

1. Outpatient surgery was associated with 31.6 percent lower costs than inpatient surgery.

2. There was no difference in readmission, revision or return rates between inpatient and outpatient surgery.

3. The researchers concluded, "Where medically/socially appropriate, this analysis suggests that ankle fracture surgery should be provided in an outpatient surgical facility to provide the greatest value to the patient and society."

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