Hospitals more specialized in orthopedic surgery show better outcomes for hip and knee replacement
February 17, 2010
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A recent study of Medicare data by University of Iowa
investigators indicates that hospitals with a higher
degree of orthopedic specialization provide better
outcomes for patients undergoing hip or
knee replacement surgery.
The findings, which appear in the online version of
the British Medical Journal, were based on
a retrospective study of nearly 1.3 million Medicare
beneficiaries aged 65 years and older who had hip or
knee replacement procedures between 2001 and 2005 at
3,818 U.S. hospitals. The investigators grouped the
hospitals into five categories according to their degree
of orthopedic specialization. Orthopedic procedures
accounted for 10.5% of admissions at the average
hospital, while they represented 14.5% or more of the
admissions in the most specialized group…
…"The findings suggest that more specialized hospitals
have better outcomes even after we account for the type of
patients each hospital cares for and the number of hip and
knee replacement surgeries that each hospital performs,"
Tyson Hagen, MD, the lead author of the study, stated in the
Reference: Hagen TP, Vaughan-Sarrazin MS, Cram P. Relation
between hospital orthopaedic specialisation and
outcomes in patients aged 65 and older:
retrospective analysis of US Medicare data.
BMJ. Published online 2010 Feb 11.