Background: Charge and reimbursement trends for arthroscopic partial meniscectomies among orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital/surgery centers have not been formally analyzed, even though meniscectomies are the most commonly performed orthopaedic surgery. Purpose: To analyze Medicare charge and reimbursement trends for surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital/surgery centers for outpatient arthroscopic partial meniscectomies performed in the United States. Study Design: Economic and decision analysis; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: We analyzed trends in surgeon, anesthesiologist, and hospital charges and reimbursements for outpatient isolated arthroscopic partial meniscectomies from 2005 to 2014. Current Procedural Terminology codes were used to capture charge and reimbursement information using the nationally representative 5% Medicare sample. National and regional trends for charge, reimbursement, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) were evaluated using linear regression analysis. Results: A total of 31,717 patients were analyzed in this study. Charges across all groups increased significantly (P <.001) during the 10-year study period, with an increase of 18.4% ($2754-$3262) for surgeons, 85.5% ($802-$1480) for anesthesiologists, and 116.8% ($2743-$5947) for hospitals. Surgeon reimbursements declined by 15.5% ($504-$426; P =.072) during this period. Anesthesiologist and hospital reimbursements increased significantly during by 36.5% ($133-$182; P <.001) and 28.9% ($1540-$1984; P <.001) during the 10-year study period, respectively. The annual incidence of partial meniscectomies per 10,000 database patients decreased significantly from 18.3 to 15.6 over the course of the study (14.8% decrease; P =.009), while the CCI did not change significantly (P =.798). Conclusion: Hospital and anesthesiologist Medicare reimbursements for outpatient arthroscopic partial meniscectomies increased significantly, while surgeon reimbursements decreased. In 2005, hospitals were reimbursed 205% more ($1540 vs $504) than surgeons, and by 2014, they were reimbursed 365% more ($1984 vs $426), indicating that the gap between hospital and surgeon reimbursement is rising. Improved understanding of charge and reimbursement trends represents an opportunity for key stakeholders to improve financial alignment across the field of orthopaedics.
- meniscectomy cost
- meniscectomy reimbursement
- partial meniscectomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine