Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shoulder arthroplasty: surgical trends and postoperative care pathway analysis

The Avant-Garde Health and Codman Shoulder Society Value Based Care Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 triggered disruption in the conventional care pathways for many orthopedic procedures. The current study aims to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shoulder arthroplasty hospital surgical volume, trends in surgical case distribution, length of hospitalization, posthospital disposition, and 30-day readmission rates. Methods: This study queried all Medicare (100% sample) fee-for-service beneficiaries who underwent a shoulder arthroplasty procedure (Diagnosis-Related Group code 483, Current Procedural Terminology code 23472) from January 1, 2019, to December 18, 2020. Fracture cases were separated from nonfracture cases, which were further subdivided into anatomic or reverse arthroplasty. Volume per 1000 Medicare beneficiaries was calculated from April to December 2020 and compared to the same months in 2019. Length of stay (LOS), discharged-home rate, and 30-day readmission for the same period were obtained. The yearly difference adjusted for age, sex, race (white vs. nonwhite), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hierarchical Condition Category risk score, month fixed effects, and Core-Based Statistical Area fixed effects, with standard errors clustered at the provider level, was calculated using a multivariate analysis (P <.05). Results: A total of 49,412 and 41,554 total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) cases were observed April through December for 2019 and 2020, respectively. There was an overall decrease in shoulder arthroplasty volume per 1000 Medicare beneficiaries by 14% (19% reduction in anatomic TSA, 13% reduction in reverse shoulder arthroplasty, and 3% reduction in fracture cases). LOS for all shoulder arthroplasty cases decreased by 16% (−0.27 days, P <.001) when adjusted for confounders. There was a 5% increase in the discharged-home rate (88.0% to 92.7%, P <.001), which was most prominent in fracture cases, with a 20% increase in discharged-home cases (65.0% to 73.4%, P <.001). There was no significant change in 30-day hospital readmission rates overall (P =.20) or when broken down by individual procedures. Conclusions: There was an overall decrease in shoulder arthroplasty volume per 1000 Medicare beneficiaries by 14% during the COVID-19 pandemic. A decrease in LOS and increase in the discharged-home rates was also observed with no significant change in 30-day hospital readmission, indicating that a shift toward an outpatient surgical model can be performed safely and efficiently and has the potential to provide value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2457-2464
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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