UCLA researchers have found that the United States could reduce health care spending by reducing the costs of hip and knee replacements.
In a study published Tuesday, researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for Health Advancement calculated that hip and knee replacements made up a significant portion of controlled health care spending in the United States. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 723,000 knee replacements and 505,000 hip replacements costing more than $20 billion were performed in the United States in 2014.
The study recommended reducing the costs associated with elective joint replacements by educating patients on how to avoid unnecessary procedures, encouraging surgeons to perform procedures without requiring patients to stay overnight at a hospital when appropriate, helping hospitals make cost-effective decisions and capping payments for replacements.
The article was authored by Jonathan Fielding, a professor in the school of public health, Steven Teutsch, an adjunct professor in the school of public health, and Vanessa Lam, a graduate student in public health.