Elective hip, knee surgery costs grow to $25B, BCBS Association finds

Scheduled orthopedic surgeries now reflect 47 percent of total orthopedic spending at $25 billion, a 44 percent increase since 2010, according to a report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

For the report, BCBSA studied medical claims data from 2010-17 to analyze trends in cost and quality for elective orthopedic surgeries, especially knee and hip replacements.  

According to the report, knee replacements are up 17 percent, while hip replacements increased 33 percent during the time period. Additionally, the average price of knee and hip surgeries grew by 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively, during the time period.

The report also found the average price for an inpatient knee replacement is $30,249, compared to $19,002 for outpatients. For hip replacements, the average inpatient replacement price is $30,685, while the outpatient price is $22,078. Still, only 11 percent of knee surgeries and 8 percent of hip surgeries were performed in outpatient facilities in 2017.

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