NY Times: Post-Acute Facilities Not Needed By Most Knee, Hip Patients

The case for in-home rehab care following joint replacements is getting stronger and could be a threat for some post-acute facilities. Even for those living alone, in-home rehab services may be better for outcomes as well as for patients’ pocketbooks, The New York Times reported. 

People are living longer lives and are requiring replacements of major joints such as hips and knees. However, there needs to be a re-examination of who, if anyone, should go to a rehab facility after joint replacement, Dr. Javad Parvizi, chairman of research in orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University, explained in the article.

In one of Dr. Parvizi’s studies, he worked with 769 patients who underwent either a knee or hip replacement for advanced arthritis. Of the patients, 36 were discharged from the hospital to a rehab facility and the rest went home and received outpatient rehab, even those who lived alone. 

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“Based on an assessment of the patients’ function, pain relief and personal satisfaction three months after their surgery, the team concluded, ‘Patients living alone can expect a safe recovery, equivalent to those not living alone, when discharged directly home after total joint arthroplasty,’” the article stated. 

Patients who go directly home from a joint replacement also may be less likely to experience adverse events like blood clots and infections.

Cost is also a huge differentiator between inpatient rehabilitation and in-home rehab. Inpatient rehabilitation is typically much more expensive than receiving in-home rehab services. Dr. Parvizi’s study found that the cost per patient is reduced by more than $10,000 without inpatient rehab.

Overall, the outcomes of in-home rehab care were found to be the same, if not better, than inpatient care.

Read the full article from The New York Times.  

Written by Alana Stramowski

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