Joint Replacement Service Lines

on Tuesday, 02 February 2010. All News Items

On January 22, 2010 HealthLeaders Media presented a Joint Replacement Service Line live webcast.  The presentation was led by Dr. Marshall K. Steele, founder of Marshall Steel and Associates.  Dr. Marshall presented compelling data about the future of Total Joints. 

  • From 2010 to 2030 primary hips, revisions hips and revision knees O.R. cases are predicted to increase from 137% to 601% while primary knees cases are predicted to increase 637%.
  • The history of total joint reimbursement from 1990 to 2010 list prices is
    o -11% Hospitals Net Margin
    o +20% Vendors Net Margin

CMS has reported that the average Medicare reimbursement to surgeons has decrease by some 7% over the last three years.  (Source: HealthLeaders December 2009 article Strategic Investments in the OR.)

Further complicating the future of Joint Replacements is a shortage of surgeons as many surgeons are nearing retirement age and Joint Fellowships are going unfilled.

“Joint Camps” incorporate a Physician Champion, specialized staff, beginning patient education prior to admission, family involvement in the care of the patient and post discharge follow up with the patient by the “Joint Camp” staff. 

Dr. Marshall presented the successes that have been realized at a Maryland Hospital that implemented a “Joint Camp” for their knees and hips.  Success included a decrease in LOS, increase in patient volume, increase in range of motion in the knee, increase in distances walked by the patients, a decreased infection rate and a decrease in readmission rates. 

To remain competitive in the future, it will be imperative for hospitals to streamline the Joint Replacement experience for patients and work effectively as a team.

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