Healthcare Business News

Hospitals, insurer launch joint-replacement quality effort

By Paul Barr
Posted: May 24, 2012 - 10:45 am ET

Twelve Michigan hospitals and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit, launched a hip and knee replacement quality initiative that will collect related data and use that to develop best practices and procedures.

Orthopedic surgeons will meet regularly to review data collected by the newly formed Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative to share information and identify improvements in those procedures, according to a Michigan Blues news release. "Our data registry will first focus on how to improve outcomes right after surgery," said Dr. Brian Hallstrom, clinical leader of the arthroplasty initiative and clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Michigan, in the release. "Then we'll also take a longer-term approach to see what changes could improve the outcome, such as implant choice or other factors."

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A typical hip or knee replacement surgery costs $20,000 to $30,000, but re-replacement or revision surgeries can cost three to four times more, and usually require longer hospital stays, Hallstrom said. "We're aiming to catch problems with implants and other aspects of surgery so we can avoid complications and revision surgeries," he said.

The quality and safety initiative is one of 12 that the Blues plan has in place with Michigan hospitals, according to the release.

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