Home for Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee and hip replacements are some of the most common operations in the world. In 2022, the number of hip replacement procedures in the U.S. grew 3.8% from the previous year to approximately 766 thousand, and knee replacements grew 5.1% to approximately 1.3 million, according to Orthopedic Network News.
While these surgeries are very common, each time a patient is sent to a rehabilitation facility instead of home to recover, it adds $7,000 to $8,000 to the cost.
The Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI) is a Blue Cross-funded statewide collaboration that pools data from facilities across the state. Participating surgeons throughout Michigan analyze the data to find ways to improve and advance their care, as part of the Blue Cross Value Partnership platform of programs.
Data from the CQI showed a wide variation in patients recovering at home versus a rehabilitation center.
“Some hospitals were sending fewer than 10% of their patients [home] and some were sending more than 40%,” explained Brian Hallstrom, co-director of Michigan Arthroplasty Registry CQI. “Seeing that variation made us realize, ‘Well, what are those other hospitals doing?’”
Home-based recovery can be very beneficial. Those who recover in the comfort of their own home tend to return to normal daily activities quicker. They have less exposure to illness, and they have fewer complications that require rehospitalization.
When Phyllis St. Michael received a double hip replacement, she stayed in the hospital for two nights each. She mostly recuperated at home, utilizing a walker and cane to regain her strength. For both surgeries, she only experienced a couple weeks of downtime.
The information acquired from the CQI is helping to make Michigan one of the best places to have a joint replacement. Not only is it reducing admissions to rehabilitation facilities and bettering outcomes, but it’s also saving money.
“There is a huge opportunity for us to really improve what we’re doing,” said Hallstrom. “But we have to pay attention and learn from everything we’ve done in the past.”
Collaborative Quality Initiatives like this are one way Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is making health care more affordable. CQIs are a part of Blue Cross’ Value Partnerships platform of programs, which is celebrating 20 years of advancing the health care delivery system and making health care work better for Michigan and beyond.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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