For patients and providers, recovery at home means improved outcomes and reduced costs
Without proper care, patients leaving the hospital soon after knee and hip replacements are at risk for readmission, which comes at a great price to patients and providers alike. In December 2013, Kaiser Health News reported that a Medicare analysis of hip and knee replacement patients showed a 5.4% chance of rehospitalization. And a 2014 study of 76,289 patients with total hip or knee replacements resulted in more than 1,070 rehospitalizations at a cost of more than $25.5 million.
While the rate of complications can be rare—affecting 1% to 2% of knee replacement patients, and 1% to 5% of hip replacement patients—any complications that require a rehospitalization result in slower recovery, higher costs to both the patient and the insurer due to more time in the hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a delayed return to good health.
Changes in healthcare funding are putting increased pressure on insurance companies,healthcare providers and patients to cut costs and yet the U.S. market for joint replacement is growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2010, Americans received 719,000 total knee replacements and 332,000 total hip replacements, while the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that as many as 3.5 million knee replacements will be performed annually by 2030.
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