August 29, 2014 by Arezu Sarvestani
Surgical repair of hip fractures costs more up-front but saves $65,000 in healthcare costs down the line, according to a study backed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Hip surgeries are likely to become increasingly popular as the U.S. population ages, representing a significant cost burden for the healthcare system, but orthopedic surgeons say the procedure ultimately saves tens of thousands of dollars per patient.
Up-front costs of hip fracture surgery can be steep depending on the location and facility, but the procedure helps keep patients out of the hospital and reduce downstream spending on nursing home care, according to a study backed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research.
Surgery, already the preferred treatment for patients with hip fractures, was found to cost an average of $19,700-$11,300 more than non-surgical treatment up-front, but the procedure helped save between $65,300-$68,000 per patient over a lifetime, researchers reported. Surgical treatment also added an average of 1.9-2.5 quality-adjusted life years for fracture patients.
“Not only is surgery extremely successful in returning hip fracture patients to active, independent living, but the procedure also provides a significant societal benefit and value,” study co-author Dr. John Tongue said in prepared remarks. “These are important findings as the nation ages, and as policy makers and payers increasingly focus on the rising costs of health care.”