Study: Total knee replacement procedure cost-effective in elderly adults

Study: Total knee replacement procedure cost-effective in elderly adults

According to a recent study by the researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the Boston University School of Public Health, total knee replacement (arthroplasty) procedure is cost-effective in elderly adults with advanced osteoarthritis. The findings of the study are significant as the Obama administration and Congress are working out ways to contain Medicare costs and revamp the US health-care system.

Based on a computer-simulated model, using data from Medicare claims and cost/outcomes data, the study concluded that the arthroplasty benefits both the patients as well as the federal Medicare program that foots the bill. It said that patients who undergo the treatment experience nearly one year of better quality of life vis-a-vis those who do not undergo the procedure.

Elaborating its point statistically, the study - which had 74 years as the average age of patients included - said that the $57,900 total cost for arthroplasty, against the $37,100 treatment cost for non-surgical therapies, reveals that the cost-effectiveness ratio of total knee replacement works out to be $18,300 per quality-adjusted life year. In the study, published in the June 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the authors said: "For patients who choose to undergo total knee arthroplasty, hospital volume plays an important role: regardless of patient risk level, higher-volume centers consistently deliver better outcomes."

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