Inpatient Consults and Complications During Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty in a Bundled Care Model

Billy T. Baumgartner, Vasili Karas, Beau J. Kildow, Daniel J. Cunningham, Mitchell R. Klement, Cindy L. Green, David E. Attarian, Thorsten M. Seyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are implementing changes in hospital reimbursement models for total joint arthroplasty (TJA), moving to value-based bundled payments from the fee-for-service model. The purpose of this study is to identify consults and complications during the perioperative period that increase financial burden. Methods: We combined CMS payment data for inpatient, professional, and postoperative with retrospective review of patients undergoing primary TJA and developed profiles of patients included in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundle undergoing TJA. Statistical comparison of episode inpatient events and payments was conducted. Multiple regression analysis was adjusted for length of stay, disposition, and Charlson-Deyo comorbidity profile. Results: Median total payment was $21,577.36, which exceeded the median bundle target payment of $20,625.00. Adjusted analyses showed that psychiatry consults (increase of $73,123.32; P <.001), internal medicine consults ($5789.38; P ≤.001), pulmonary embolism ($35,273.68; P <.001), intensive care unit admission ($14,078.37; P <.001), and deep vein thrombosis ($9471.26; P =.019) resulted in increased payments using multivariate analysis adjusted for length of stay, Charlson-Deyo comorbidities, and discharge disposition. Conclusion: Patients with inpatient complications such as pulmonary embolism and/or deep vein thrombosis, intensive care unit admission, and medical/psychiatric consultation exceeded the CMS target. Although study results showed typical complication rates, acute inpatient consultation significantly increased utilization beyond the CMS target even when adjusted for length of stay, patient comorbidities, and discharge. Needed medical care should continue to be a priority for inpatients, and allowance for individual outliers should be considered in policy discussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-975
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • bundle
  • primary total hip arthroplasty
  • primary total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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