Ambulatory Surgery Centers Significantly Decrease Total Health Care Expenditures in Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Justin Tiao, Kevin Wang, Andrew D. Carbone, Michael Herrera, Nicole Zubizarreta, James N. Gladstone, Alexis C. Colvin, Shawn G. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) is a commonly performed orthopaedic procedure. The volume and cost of ACLR procedures are increasing annually, but the drivers of these cost increases are not well described. Purpose: To analyze the modifiable drivers of total health care utilization (THU), immediate procedure reimbursement, and surgeon reimbursement for patients undergoing ACLR using a large national commercial insurance database from 2013 to 2017. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: For this study, the cohort consisted of patients identified in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database who underwent outpatient arthroscopic ACLR in the United States from 2013 to 2017. Patients with Current Procedural Terminology code 29888 were included. THU was defined as the sum of any payment related to the ACLR procedure from 90 days preoperatively to 180 days postoperatively. A multivariable model was utilized to describe the patient- and procedure-related drivers of THU, immediate procedure reimbursement, and surgeon reimbursement. Results: There were 34,862 patients identified. On multivariable analysis, the main driver of THU and immediate procedure reimbursement was an outpatient hospital as the surgical setting (US$6789 increase in THU). The main driver of surgeon reimbursement was an out-of-network surgeon (US$1337 increase). Health maintenance organization as the insurance plan type decreased THU, immediate procedure reimbursement, and surgeon reimbursement (US$955, US$108, and US$38 decrease, respectively, compared with preferred provider organization; P <.05 for all). Conclusion: Performing procedures in more cost-efficient ambulatory surgery centers had the largest effect on decreasing health care expenditures for ACLR. Health maintenance organizations aided in cost-optimization efforts as well, but had a minor effect on surgeon reimbursement. Overall, this study increases transparency into what drives reimbursement and serves as a foundation for how to decrease health care expenditures related to ACLR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • ACL
  • ACLR cost
  • economic and decision analysis
  • hospital versus ambulatory surgery center (ASC)
  • knee

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