Let’s Talk about Hip Replacements

Many patients prepare themselves for big procedures like a hip replacement by asking about what to expect during the surgery and what the recovery period looks like. But, patients don’t always ask about the cost ahead of time.

If you have severe damage in your hip, and your doctor has suggested hip replacement surgery to help relieve pain and improve mobility, you’ll want to ask what to expect from the surgery. You’ll also want to know what costs to expect and reduce the chance of a surprise bill.

The most common cause of hip damage is osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in your joints. Hip replacements are one of the most common joint replacement surgeries. Last year in the U.S., surgeons performed about 400,000 hip replacements.

On the Wear The Cost website, the Hip Replacement “episode of care” includes the total cost of all covered services related to hip replacement or hip revision surgery, whether the service takes place in a hospital or in an outpatient facility. This total cost includes all doctor’s appointments, tests, and imaging done before the surgery, the surgery itself, and other care and treatment received before discharge from the hospital. The cost also includes follow up services provided to patients after being discharged from the hospital/outpatient facility, such as prescription medications, rehabilitation, or physical therapy.

By including the related services before, during, and after the surgery, Wear The Cost captures the total cost of care of a hip replacement for patients and health insurance companies. The costs are based on health insurance claims data and reflects what patients and health insurers actually pay providers for their services.

In Maryland, the cost of a hip replacement can range from about $22,100 to over $36,600, depending on the hospital where the procedure takes place. These costs include things you  expect, like a new hip. They also include treatments for complications that you hope not to experience and could potentially be avoided. Common potentially avoidable complications for a hip replacement include bleeding after surgery, infections, bed sores and clots in leg veins. Some hospitals have more costs associated with potentially avoidable complications than others.

Knowing both the costs associated with the procedure and the rate of potentially avoidable complications can help patients as they consider where to get their surgery — something everyone should think about.

To learn more about what hip replacements cost in Maryland and which hospitals may offer a better value, check out https://www.wearthecost.org/hip_replacement.html. Or create your own custom report to compare hospitals: https://www.wearthecost.org/report_step1.html