ROSEMONT, Ill.Each year, more than 300,000 Americans, primarily adults over age 65, sustain a hip fracture, a debilitating injury that can diminish life quality and expectancy, and result in lost work days and substantial, long-term financial costs to patients, families, insurers and government agencies. And while surgery, the primary treatment for hip fractures, successfully reduces mortality risk and improves physical function, little is known about the procedure's value and return on investment.
A new study, appearing in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, found that average lifetime societal benefits in the U.S. reduced the direct medical costs of hip fracture surgery by $65,000 to $68,000 per patient (in 2009 dollars), and that total, lifetime societal savings exceeded $16 billion for older patients. These savings resulted from a reduction in the length and intensity of care after the injury, as well as a reduction in the amount of longer-term medical care and assistance needed by patients who undergo surgery for a hip fracture, when compared with those who are treated without surgery.
"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," said orthopaedic surgeon John Tongue, MD, co-author of the study, "Surgery for Hip Fractures Yields Societal Benefits that Exceed the Direct Medical Costs."
"These are important findings as the nation ages, and as policy makers and payers increasingly focus on the rising costs of health care," said Dr. Tongue.
Hip fracture surgery gave Jimmy Ming Hsu his "normal life back." Hsu fractured his hip when he fell in the shower during a trip out of the country. He immediately flew back to New York City where his hip was surgically reset. "The results were wonderful," said Hsu. The surgery "helped me regain mobility and get my life
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American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons