Hip surgery found to have impressive return on investment

As the country's population ages, many within the health care industry are concerned how older adults' care needs will affect spending. One example is the case of hip fracture surgery. Hip fractures increase in frequency dramatically with age, meaning that an older average population will require more of these procedures.

Currently, over 300,000 Americans undergo surgery for hip fractures each year. But by 2040, that number is expected to increase to over 500,000, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

While this may seem like it will create a significant additional financial burden, a new study published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research suggests the opposite.

In the study, researchers measured the long-term costs associated with the procedure and nonsurgical treatments. These included home modifications costs and costs associated with long-term nursing home care.

According to the study, the average per-patient savings for surgery compared with nonsurgical treatment were $65,279 for surgery to correct a displaced intracapsular hip fracture.

"Not only is surgery extremely successful in returning hip fracture patients to active, independent living, but the procedure also provides a significant societal benefit and value," orthopedic surgeon and co-author of the study Dr. John Tongue wrote in a statement accompanying the results. "These are important findings as the nation ages, and as policy makers and payers increasingly focus on the rising costs of health care."

Studies such as these are increasing important, as over 10,000 Americans now turn 65 every day and are at increased risk of hip fractures and other medical costs associated with advanced age. However, due to shrinking reimbursements and the difficulty in anticipating the cost of care for many subscribers, a significant number of facilities are experiencing issues with health insurance claims follow-up. The decision to outsource receivables management can result in increased cash flow and a decrease in accounts receivable days.