Total ankles in the outpatient setting saves $2.5k per case — 5 study insights

A study, published in Foot & Ankle International, examined outpatient total ankle arthroplasty.

Tyler Gonzalez, MD, of Boston-based Harvard University, and colleagues attempted to establish a proof of concept for OTAA. Researchers compared outpatient versus inpatient complications, emergency visits, readmissions, patient satisfaction and cost analysis.

Researchers analyzed 36 patients between July 2010 and September 2015. Twenty-one patients had outpatient surgery while 15 had inpatient.

Here's what they found:

1. In an inpatient setting, length of stay was 2.5 days.

2. The cost differential between the two groups was 13.4 percent, with the outpatient procedure being less costly. The difference correlated to a savings of $2,500 per case.

3. One patient in the outpatient group visited the emergency department a day after their surgery for urinary retention.

4. There were no 30-day readmissions in either cohort.

5. Approximately 73 percent of the outpatient group and 93 percent of the inpatient group would not "change to a different postoperative admission status if they were to have the procedure again."

Researchers concluded, "Our results show that OTAA was a cost-effective and safe alternative with low complication rates and high patient satisfaction. With proper patient selection, OTAA was beneficial to both the patient and the healthcare system by driving down total cost. It has the capacity to generate substantial savings while providing equal or better value to the patient."

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