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Do higher-volume hospitals provide better value in revision hip and knee arthroplasty?

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The purpose of this study is to determine if higher volume hospitals have lower costs in revision hip and knee arthroplasty.

Materials and Methods

We questioned the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Inpatient Charge Data and identified 789 hospitals performing a total of 29 580 revision arthroplasties in 2014. Centres were dichotomised into high-volume (performing over 50 revision cases per year) and low-volume. Mean total hospital-specific charges and inpatient payments were obtained from the database and stratified based on Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) codes. Patient satisfaction scores were obtained from the multiyear CMS Hospital Compare database.


High-volume hospitals comprised 178 (30%) of the total but performed 15 068 (51%) of all revision cases, including 509 of 522 (98%) of the most complex DRG 466 cases. While high-volume hospitals had higher Medicare inpatient payments for DRG 467 ($21 458 versus $20 632, p = 0.038) and DRG 468 ($17 003 versus $16 120, p = 0.011), there was no difference in hospital specific charges between the groups. Higher-volume facilities had a better CMS hospital star rating (3.63 versus 3.35, p < 0.001). When controlling for hospital geographic and demographic factors, high-volume revision hospitals are less likely to be in the upper quartile of inpatient Medicare costs for DRG 467 (odds ratio (OR) 0.593, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.374 to 0.941, p = 0.026) and DRG 468 (OR 0.451, 95% CI 0.297 to 0.687, p <  0.001).


While a high-volume hospital is less likely to be a high cost outlier, the higher mean Medicare reimbursements at these facilities may be due to increased case complexity. Further study should focus on measures for cost savings in revision total joint arthroplasties.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:1611–17.

Correspondence should be sent to N. B. Frisch; email:

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