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Cost of Hip and Knee Replacements Rising in U.S.

A new report identifies trends in cost and quality of care for elective or planned orthopedic surgical procedures, specifically knee and hip replacements, by examining the medical claims of BCBS commercially insured members from 2010 through 2017. The report, “Planned Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries Are on the Rise in the U.S.,” is based on analysis of commercial insurance claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). The report found planned knee and hip replacement procedures continue to climb in cost and volume, particularly among younger Americans. Knee replacements are up by 17 percent and hip replacements are up 33 percent. Costing more than $25 billion in 2017, planned orthopedic surgeries account for 47 percent of total orthopedic spending, reflecting a 44 percent increase since 2010. During the same time period, the average price of knee and hip procedures increased by 6 percent and 5 percent respectively. The increase in the number of knee and hip procedures during this seven-year period is the main cost driver, as the number of knee and hip procedures has sharply risen across nearly all ages under 65.

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