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J Arthroplasty. 2010 Oct;25(7):1005-14. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2010.08.009.

Impact of the economic downturn on adult reconstruction surgery: a survey of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts 01805, USA.


To evaluate the effects of the economic downturn on adult reconstruction surgery in the United States, a survey of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) membership was conducted. The survey evaluated surgical and patient volume, practice type, hospital relationship, total joint arthroplasty cost control, employee staffing, potential impact of Medicare reimbursement decreases, attitudes toward health care reform options and retirement planning. A surgical volume decrease was reported by 30.4%. An outpatient visit decrease was reported by 29.3%. A mean loss of 29.9% of retirement savings was reported. The planned retirement age increased to 65.3 years from 64.05 years. If Medicare surgeon reimbursement were to decrease up to 20%, 49% to 57% of AAHKS surgeons would be unable to provide care for Medicare patients, resulting in an unmet need of 92,650 to 160,818 total joint arthroplasty procedures among AAHKS surgeons alone. Decreases in funding for surgeons and inadequate support for subspecialty training will likely impact access and quality for Americans seeking adult reconstruction surgery.

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