More Americans Under Age 55 are Planning Hip and Knee Replacements

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Planned knee and hip replacement procedures continue to climb in cost and volume, particularly among younger Americans, according to a review of medical claims data from 2010–2017 by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). Knee replacements are up by 17% and hip replacements are up 33 percent. Costing more than $25 billion in 2017, planned orthopedic surgeries account for 47% of total orthopedic spending, reflecting a 44% increase since 2010. During the same time period, the average price of knee and hip procedures increased by 6% and 5% 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."

With the cost of knee and hip replacements on the rise, Orthopedic Patients may turn to the internet in order to find the best deal since, according to AudienceSCAN, it's a personal goal for the year for 43.7% of this audience to save money. In just the last month, 60.9% of Orthopedic Patients have used a search engine (probably Google, favored by 85.1% of these patients) to research a product or service they're considering for purchase. In the past six months, 19.1% have used the internet to view TV commercials on YouTube and 25.7% have used a mobile device to watch a video about a product they're considering

'As a leader in health care, providing coverage for one in three Americans, we know access to quality health care is important to our members, particularly as Gen X Americans (those younger than 55) are also undergoing hip and knee replacement procedures at increasing rates across the country,' said Mark Talluto, vice president, strategy and analytics, BCBSA. 'Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies have made it a priority to provide members more tools and options to make informed decisions about the best care to meet their needs.'”

"The report, 'Planned Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries Are on the Rise in the U.S.,' represents a study of trends in cost and quality of care for elective orthopedic surgical procedures, specifically knee and hip replacements. Some of the additional findings include:

•    The average price for an inpatient knee replacement is $30,249, as compared to $19,002 in an outpatient setting. The average cost of an inpatient hip replacement is $30,685 compared to $22,078 in an outpatient setting. 

•    Knee and hip procedures performed in an outpatient setting are significantly lower in price than in an inpatient setting at a savings of between 30 to 40 percent.

•    Over a four-​year period from 2013–2017, outpatient complication rates substantially improved by 23% for knee procedures and 36% for hip procedures (comparable to an inpatient setting).

•    Despite these potential outpatient setting savings, only 11% of knee procedures and 8% of hip procedures were performed on an outpatient basis in 2017."

"The location and setting of an individual’s procedure, such as outpatient versus inpatient, has a direct impact on its total cost. To help consumers identify higher quality, affordable inpatient and outpatient centers, BCBS companies created the Blue Distinction Centers+ designation, which recognizes health care facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivering patient care safely and effectively, while also being 24% or more cost-​efficient than non-​designated facilities. Quality comes first: only those hospitals that first meet national established quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+."

Orthopedic Patients seeking knee and hip replacement surgeries can be targeted with many different kinds of ads. For example, last year, these patients took action after receiving an email ad (51.2%) and after either receiving a text ad or seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps (42.6%), according to AudienceSCAN. They're also 27% more likely than other adults to take action because of an ad they saw in a directory search, either printed or online. In the past year, these patients also took action after seeing TV commercials (65.5%) and newspaper ads (53.4%).

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.