Outpatient joint replacements at ASCs cost 40% less than hospital-based surgery: 3 study details

A new study suggests there isn't increased risk for patients undergoing outpatient joint replacements performed in the ASC setting when compared with the inpatient hospital setting, according to new research from New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery and Philadelphia-based Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.

Researchers compared knee and hip replacement outcomes and costs for both inpatient and outpatient surgery. Michael P. Ast, MD, a hip and knee surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, performed the inpatient procedures at a university medical center and the outpatient surgeries at a community-based ASC. There were 126 patients in both the ASC and hospital groups, with 77 patients undergoing total hip replacements and 49 undergoing total knee replacements.

The key research details to know:

1. The average length of stay was 8:09 hours among the ASC patients, compared to 23:24 hours for the hospital-based patients.

2. There was not a meaningful difference in complications or readmission rates between the two groups.

3. The surgery cost for the ASC group was 40 percent less than the hospital group. On average, outpatient surgery cost $11,677, with inpatient surgery costing $19,361.

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