Reports Show Hip Replacement Outcomes Are Bleak, Yet Prices Keep Rising
Hip and knee replacements are among the most common procedures in the U.S. In just 2013, an estimated one million procedures have cost Medicare over $6 billion. Knee replacements alone are increasing by eight percent each year and have doubled in the past 10 years. Currently, roughly five percent of women over the age of 50 have undergone a knee replacement procedure, and statistics show that one in twelve adults over the age of 25 will need this procedure in the future. However, as the cost of hip and knee replacements increases, experts are finding that Americans are paying more for worse outcomes.
Hip Replacement Outcomes Bleak
Although the cost for procedures is increasing, the quality of care and products is decreasing. Those who require a hip or knee replacement often have weeks, if not months, to plan ahead for the surgery. To increase the chance of a successful procedure, experts suggest that patients should opt for a hospital that provides over 200 hip and knee reattachment or replacement surgeries each year. Medical studies show that patients treated at high volume hospitals often have lower rates of heart attacks, infections and serious complications such as pneumonia, blood clots and death.
However, according to statistics, only one in four American hospitals meets this criteria, and two in five patients are not treated at those that perform over 200 procedures per year. The hospital with the highest patient volume in the country, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, treated 3,833 patients in 2011 alone. Unfortunately, Hawaii, Arkansas and Wyoming have no hospitals that meet the criteria, meaning that over four million people in these states do not have in-state access to a high-quality hip and knee facility.
On the other hand, hip replacement outcomes appear to be better at four of the least expensive hospitals; all of the top ten most expensive facilities for hip and knee surgeries did not meet the criteria for an experienced facility. The report shows that hospitals that perform over 200 knee or hip procedures each year typically charge lower rates than those that do not reach this benchmark. In other words, patients should not consider high price to be a sign of high quality or of the best hip replacement outcomes.
Stryker Hip Lawsuits Pending
In correlation to the claim that Americans are paying a greater price for undesirable hip replacement outcomes, Stryker, manufacturer of the ABG II and Rejuvenate hip implants, is facing lawsuits alleging that the devices cause inflammation, pain, trouble walking and difficulty standing, walking or moving legs. Since Stryker issued its worldwide recall in July 2012, it cannot be said that it was the hospitals’ failure or inexperience in knee and hip replacement procedures that led to the undesirable hip replacement outcomes.
Instead, plaintiffs filing lawsuits allege that the implants damaged joints, nerves, bones and surrounding soft tissues, often resulting in the need for complex and painful revision surgeries to remove the implant. Approximately 300 claims against Stryker were consolidated in June 2013 in Minnesota’s federal court.
For More Information, Contact the American Injury Attorney Group Today
If you or someone you love has suffered from severe side effects after receiving the Stryker implant or you would like to learn more about hip replacement outcomes, the American Injury Attorney Group can help answer your questions and concerns. We will evaluate your case if you feel you have a claim and connect you with an experienced lawyer who will handle your Stryker claim and work to ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.