Total joints in ASCs are a win-win-win — Dr. Michael Chmell outlines key trends for the future

As trends change and patients seek out different providers for care, Michael Chmell, MD, of OrthoIllinois in Rockford, reports patients are choosing surgery centers, which benefits more than just the patient.

Dr. Chmell will be speaking at the Becker's 16th Annual Future of Spine + The Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. To learn more and register, click here. Contact Maura Jodoin at or Kristelle Khazzaka at for further information about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.

Question: How has the adoption of outpatient surgery helped and/or hindered total joint cases?

Dr. Michael Chmell: It has helped and been a benefit. It has been a benefit to the patient because they have an overall [better] experience in a surgery center than a hospital. There are also potentially lower complication rates and risk of infection compared to undergoing total joint replacement in the hospital.

Doing total joints in a surgery center is positive for the surgeons because they get to work with staff they are familiar with to create more efficiency. In hospitals physicians are not always working with the same staff day in and day out. And for the surgery center it is a huge positive because it is a new source for patient volume and revenue that was not present five to 10 years ago.

Total joint cases can use extensive instrumentations that other surgeries do not require. At the surgery center, we are trying to have surgeons cut down on the amount of equipment because of the lack of storage space and washing space. Additionally, doing bigger cases results in patients staying longer. Surgery centers then have to adjust schedules to accommodate the number of patients with the number of beds available.

Q: What trends do you see between joint replacement patients and outpatient surgery centers?

MC: More patients will continue to look for centers that do outpatient joints. I am hopeful that as a [physician practicing at a] freestanding non-hospital surgery center, we will eventually treat Medicare patients at our surgery centers. The other trend going forward is trying to have a uniformity of vendors, where all implants come from a single vendor. This will help with space and sterilization issues and improve staff efficiency.

More articles on orthopedics/TJR:
NYU Langone raises $1.3M+ in funds through musculoskeletal ball — 3 insights
Outpatient surgery centers or hospitals? What's best for pediatric ACL reconstruction
Outlook for total joint replacements in the ASC: Key concepts from Dr. Thomas K. Miller

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months