Outpatient total hip arthroplasty safe for Medicare patients: 3 study finds

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Outpatient, short-stay total hip arthroplasty is safe for select Medicare-aged patients, according to research published in the Journal of Arthroplasty.

Researchers studied data on patients who underwent primary total hip arthroplasty between 2015 and 2016, comparing 30-day complications, readmission and reoperation rates for inpatient, outpatient and short-stay groups. The researchers also conducted a multivariate regression analysis identifying patients at an increased risk for longer inpatient stays and complications following short-stay total hip arthroplasty. A total of 34,416 Medicare patients underwent total hip arthroplasty; 310 were discharged the same day, 5,698 were discharged the next day and 28,408 were inpatients.

The key research details to know:

1. Patents who underwent outpatient surgery or were short-stay patients had lower 30-day readmission and complication rates than the inpatient groups.

2. Females, minorities and those with general anesthesia, hypertension or diabetes faced a greater risk of developing a complication.

3. Researchers concluded, "Outpatient and short-stay total hip arthroplasty appear to be safe in a small subset of Medicare-aged patients. CMS should allow surgeons flexibility in determining admission status based upon each patient’s risk profile."

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