Medicare now allows total hips to be performed at surgery center: 5 things you should know
In January, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) finally added total hip replacement to the list of cases that can safely be performed in ambulator surgery centers (ASCs). This is based on ample clinical data demonstrating the safety of outpatient hip replacement in patients who meet appropriate selection criteria for same day discharge.
Transition of joint replacement surgery to the ASC is more cost-effective and avoids the significant expense of hospital-based care. Medicare anticipates saving tens of millions of dollars as more total hip and knee replacements migrate to the ambulatory setting.
Successful performance of outpatient joint replacement requires experience and care coordination that not every surgeon or practice is capable of. The Knee, Hip and Shoulder Center has been a pioneer of outpatient joint replacement in New England with over 1,500 cases having been successfully performed. This experience has built an expertise that is unparalleled in the region and has fostered the development of our AVATAR rapid recovery program. Further details of this program are available on our website and this blog.
Outpatient joint replacement has proven highly satisfying for patients allowing recovery in the comfort of home and avoiding the potential discomforts of hospital-based care. Even patients with well-managed medical comorbidities can successfully undergo same-day discharge. The ASC is a comfortable and highly specialized setting for joint replacement that makes the experience of surgery often much more pleasant for the patient.
Not every patient is eligible for outpatient joint replacement in the ASC, particularly those with a significant cardiac history, poorly controlled medical problems, morbid obesity, untreated sleep apnea and absence of help at home. Patients with these conditions may require a hospital stay for more careful monitoring after surgery.