The Impact of Discharge Disposition on Episode-of-Care Reimbursement After Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty

Karim G. Sabeh, Samuel Rosas, Leonard T. Buller, Martin W. Roche, Victor H. Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) accounts for more Medicare expenditure than any other inpatient procedure. The Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model was introduced to decrease cost and improve quality in TJA. The largest portion of episode-of-care costs occurs after discharge. This study sought to quantify the cost variation of primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) according to discharge disposition. Methods The Medicare and Humana claims databases were used to extract charges and reimbursements to compare day-of-surgery and 91-day postoperative costs simulating episode-of-care reimbursements. Of the patients who underwent primary THA, 257,120 were identified (204,912 from Medicare and 52,208 from Humana). Patients were stratified by discharge disposition: home with home health, skilled nursing facility, or inpatient rehabilitation facility. Results There is a significant difference in the episode-of-care costs according to discharge disposition, with discharge to an inpatient rehabilitation facility the most costly and discharge to home the least costly. Conclusion Postdischarge costs represent a sizeable portion of the overall expense in THA, and optimizing patients to allow safe discharge to home may help reduce the cost of THA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2969-2973
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • cost-effectiveness
  • home health
  • inpatient rehabilitation facility
  • postdischarge cost
  • skilled nursing facility
  • total hip arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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