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CMS Denies Outpatient Total Knee Replacement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made a final decision not to move total knee replacement from the Inpatient Only (IPO) list. The decision denies Medicare recipients the opportunity to have their knee replacement surgery in any outpatient surgery center, despite the growing trend across the country to perform more joint replacement surgeries in an outpatient setting.

Many studies have shown that outpatient knee replacement is safe and effective, and can be performed at a lower cost than traditional inpatient surgery in selected patients. Patient satisfaction with the outpatient procedure is high and outcomes have been proven to be excellent. Many orthopaedic surgeons have had a great experience performing these procedures in the outpatient environment.

Despite this disappointing recent ruling, members of AAOS and AAHKS will continue to monitor the regulations and work to educate regulators of the positive outcomes and cost savings of joint replacement procedures in the outpatient setting.

For more information, look for headline news at AAOS Now.

Brian Jewett, MD
BAJewett@mac.com

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