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Are Trends in Revision Total Joint Arthroplasty Sustainable? Declining Inflation-Adjusted Medicare Reimbursement for Hospitalizations

Published:October 21, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2022.10.030

      Abstract

      Background

      While the burden of revision total joint arthroplasty (TJA) procedures increases within the United States, it is unclear whether health care resource allocation for these complex cases has kept pace. This study examined the trends in hospital-level reimbursements for revision TJA hospitalizations.

      Methods

      The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) inpatient utilization and payment public use files from 2014 to 2019 were queried for diagnostic-related groups (DRGs) for revision TJA: DRG 467 (revision of hip or knee arthroplasty with complication or comorbidity [CC]) and DRG 468 (revision of hip or knee arthroplasty without CC or major CC). From 2014 to 2019, 170,808 revision TJA hospitalizations were billed to Medicare, and revision TJA procedures increased by 3,121 (10.7%). After adjusting to 2019 US dollars with the consumer price index, a multiple linear mixed-model regression analysis was performed. Analysis of covariance compared regressions from 2014 to 2019 for mean-adjusted Medicare payment and mean- adjusted charge were submitted for these DRGs.

      Results

      Mean-adjusted average Medicare payment for DRG 467 decreased by $804.37 (−3.5%) from 2014 to 2019, whereas, that for DRG 468 decreased by $647.33 (−3.6%). The average inflation-adjusted Medicare payment for DRG 467 decreased at a greater rate during the study period, compared to that for DRG 468 (P = .02).

      Conclusion

      The decline in reimbursement for DRGs 467 and 468 reveals decreasing incentives for revision TJA hospitalizations. Further research should assess the efficacy of current Medicare payment algorithms and identify modifications which may provide for fair hospital level reimbursements.

      Keywords

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