Outcomes Over 90-Day Episodes of Care in Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries Receiving Joint Arthroplasty

Addie Middleton, Yu Li Lin, James E. Graham, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background In an effort to improve quality and reduce costs, payments are being increasingly tied to value through alternative payment models, such as episode-based payments. The objective of this study was to better understand the pattern and variation in outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries receiving lower extremity joint arthroplasty over 90-day episodes of care. Methods Observed rates of mortality, complications, and readmissions were calculated over 90-day episodes of care among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who received elective knee arthroplasty and elective or nonelective hip arthroplasty procedures in 2013-2014 (N = 640,021). Post–acute care utilization of skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation facilities was collected from Medicare files. Results Mortality rates over 90 days were 0.4% (knee arthroplasty), 0.5% (elective hip arthroplasty), and 13.4% (nonelective hip arthroplasty). Complication rates were 2.1% (knee arthroplasty), 3.0% (elective hip arthroplasty), and 8.5% (nonelective hip arthroplasty). Inpatient rehabilitation facility utilization rates were 6.0% (knee arthroplasty), 6.7% (elective hip arthroplasty), and 23.5% (nonelective hip arthroplasty). Skilled nursing facility utilization rates were 33.9% (knee arthroplasty), 33.4% (elective hip arthroplasty), and 72.1% (nonelective hip arthroplasty). Readmission rates were 6.3% (knee arthroplasty), 7.0% (elective hip arthroplasty), and 19.2% (nonelective hip arthroplasty). Patients' age and clinical characteristics yielded consistent patterns across all outcomes. Conclusion Outcomes in our national cohort of Medicare beneficiaries receiving lower extremity joint arthroplasties varied across procedure types and patient characteristics. Future research examining trends in access to care, resource use, and care quality over bundled episodes will be important for addressing the challenges of value-based payment reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2639-2647.e1
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • bundled payments
  • complications
  • mortality
  • post–acute care
  • readmissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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