Trends and outcomes of outpatient total shoulder arthroplasty after its removal from CMS's inpatient-only list

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In January 2021, the US Medicare program approved reimbursement of outpatient total shoulder arthroplasties (TSA), including anatomic and reverse TSAs. It remains unclear whether shifting TSAs from the inpatient to outpatient setting has affected clinical outcomes. Herein, we describe the rate of outpatient TSA growth and compare inpatient and outpatient TSA complications, readmissions, and mortality. Methods: Medicare fee-for-service claims for 2019-2022Q1 were analyzed to identify the trends in outpatient TSAs and to compare 90-day postoperative complications, all-cause hospital readmissions, and mortality between outpatients and inpatients. Outpatient cases were defined as those discharged on the same day of the surgery. To reduce the COVID-19 pandemic's impact and selection bias, we excluded 2020Q2-Q4 data and used propensity scores to match 2021-2022Q1 outpatients with inpatients from the same period (the primary analysis) and from 2019-2020Q1 (the secondary analysis), respectively. We performed both propensity score-matched and -weighted multivariate analyses to compare outcomes between the two groups. Covariates included sociodemographics, preoperative diagnosis, comorbid conditions, the Hierarchical Condition Category risk score, prior year hospital/skilled nursing home admissions, annual surgeon volume, and hospital characteristics. Results: Nationally, the proportion of outpatient TSAs increased from 3% (619) in 2019Q1 to 22% (3456) in 2021Q1 and 38% (6778) in 2022Q1. A total of 55,166 cases were identified for the primary analysis (14,540 outpatients and 40,576 inpatients). Overall, glenohumeral osteoarthritis was the most common indication for surgery (70.8%), followed by rotator cuff pathology (14.6%). The unadjusted rates of complications (1.3 vs 2.4%, P <.001), readmissions (3.7 vs 6.1%, P <.001), and mortality (0.2 vs 0.4%, P =.024) were significantly lower among outpatient TSAs than inpatient TSAs. Using 1:1 nearest matching, 12,703 patient pairs were identified. Propensity score-matched multivariate analyses showed similar rates of postoperative complications, hospital readmissions, and mortality between outpatients and inpatients. Propensity score-weighted multivariate analyses resulted in similar conclusions. The secondary analysis showed a lower hospital readmission rate in outpatients (odds ratio: 0.8, P <.001). Conclusions: There has been accelerated growth in outpatient TSAs since 2019. Outpatient and inpatient TSAs have similar rates of postoperative complication, hospital readmission, and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-849
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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