BRENTWOOD, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blood utilization programs have the potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA), suggests a study published in the October 2014 Journal of Arthroplasty. That’s because the programs can help reduce the most common adverse event associated with TKA, which is treated with a blood transfusion.
Researchers working in coordination with Clinical Data Solutions (an offering of HealthTrust) concluded that the prevention of hemorrhage and other adverse events from primary TKA could result in substantial cost savings. Hospitals in the study with an above-average number of adverse events associated with TKA (12 per hospital) each spent an additional $105,000 treating affected Medicare beneficiaries.
“Blood, like all medications, has potential benefits, but also significant risks,” states David Jevsevar, M.D., MBA, vice chairman, Department of Orthopaedics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire and first author of the study. “In 2014, TKA can be performed without the patient requiring a blood transfusion. This study supports the implementation of blood utilization programs that emphasize physician and staff education, as well as pathways and treatments that can help to minimize the need for blood transfusion. These programs significantly enhance value in TKA, improving patient outcomes while reducing costs.”
The study found that Medicare beneficiaries who experienced an adverse event consumed significantly more hospital resources ($3,100 incremental cost) and had longer hospital stays (1.3 days) than those who did not. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services spends over $3.5 billion annually on TKA, making it the agency’s number one admission-based expenditure.
The retrospective study used the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review file to identify 353,650 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent a primary TKA. The primary objective was to estimate the incremental hospital resources consumed (cost and length-of-stay) of treating adverse events associated with primary TKA. According to the study, nearly 12 percent of Medicare beneficiaries undergoing TKA experienced at least one adverse event. The risk-adjusted, incremental cost of treating adverse events ranged between $2,167 for hemorrhage requiring transfusion to $30,902 for pneumonia.
The article is based on research conducted by Clinical Data Solutions. In addition to Jevsevar, researchers included Steven D. Culler, PhD, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; Kevin Shea, M.D., St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho and the Department of Orthopedics, University of Utah in Salt Lake City; April W. Simon, MSN and Kim Wright, RN, both with HealthTrust’s Clinical Data Solutions.
For more information or to review the research, please contact HealthTrust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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