The Impact of Hospital Size and Teaching Status on Outcomes Following Total Ankle Arthroplasty.

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The Journal of foot and ankle surgery : official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons


The popularity and utilization of total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) as treatment for ankle arthritis has increased exponentially from 1998 to 2012. Overall the outcomes have improved for TAA with the introduction of new-generation implants and this has increased the focus on optimizing other variables affecting outcomes for TAA. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of hospital characteristics and teaching status on outcomes for TAA. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was queried from 2002 to 2012 using the ICD-9 procedure code for TAA. The primary outcomes evaluated included: in-hospital mortality, length of stay, total hospital charges, discharge disposition, perioperative complications, and patient demographics. Analyses were carried out based on hospital size: small, medium, and large; and teaching status: rural nonteaching, urban nonteaching, and urban teaching. A total weighted national estimate of 16,621 discharges for patients undergoing TAA was reported over the 10-year period. There were significant differences in length of stay and total charges between all hospitals when comparing location and teaching status; however, no significant differences were noted for in-hospital mortality. Rural, nonteaching hospitals had higher odds of perioperative complications. There were also significant differences in length of stay and total charges when comparing hospital sizes. Overall, there is no increased risk of mortality after TAA regardless of hospital size or setting. However, rural hospitals had increased rates of perioperative complications compared to urban hospitals. Our analyses demonstrated important factors affecting cost and resource utilization for TAA, clearly additional work is needed to optimize this relationship, especially in the upcoming bundled payment models.


Online ahead of print.





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