AAHKS Press Releases

Media Contact: Denise Smith Rodd drodd@operationwalkglobal.org
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Medicare 3-Day Rule Affects Total Hip Patient Length of Stay

For Immediate Release

Dallas, November 8, 2015 — The study, “The Effect of the Medicare 3-day Rule on Patient Length of Stay and Disposition after Total Hip Arthroplasty,” presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) on November 8, 2015 looked at a Medicare rule instituted in 1965 that requires Medicare patients to stay in the hospital for three days following total hip replacement surgery before they can stay in a skilled nursing facility. The rule was intended to discourage excessive use of the skilled nursing benefit. Researchers found that the rule has an effect not only on cost but also on patients’ disposition.

Victor H. Hernandez, MD and co-authors Michele D’Apuzzo, MD, Zachary D. Post, MD, Fabio Orozco, MD, Alvin Ong, MD, and James A. Browne, MD looked at data collected between 2002 and 2011 of 1,946,006 hip replacements. Their objective was to describe the trend in the post-operative disposition of patients and to also compare the length of stay and inpatient cost between those with private insurance and those with Medicare.

Patients with Medicare stayed in the hospital longer than those with private insurance, which authors say may be due to the Medicare 3-day rule. The authors suggested that revision of this rule could decrease health care costs by reducing the length of hospital stay prior to inpatient rehabilitation.


About the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons:

Established in 1991, the mission of AAHKS is to advance hip and knee patient care through education and advocacy. AAHKS has a membership of over 2,600 surgeons. For more information, visit www.AAHKS.org.

Denise Smith Rodd