Has Removal From the Inpatient-Only List Increased Complications After Outpatient Total Knee Arthroplasty?

David E. DeMik, Christopher N. Carender, Qiang An, John J. Callaghan, Timothy S. Brown, Nicholas A. Bedard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: On 1/1/2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removed total knee arthroplasty (TKA) from the Inpatient-Only (IPO) list. This change allowed expansion of outpatient TKA, potentially to include older, more frail patients at greater risk for perioperative complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of removing TKA from the IPO list on early complications. Methods: Patients undergoing TKA in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database were identified using CPT code 27447. Only cases with length of stay of zero days were included. Rates of 30-day complications, readmissions, and reoperation were compared before and after TKA was removed from the IPO list (2015-2017 vs 2018). The analysis was performed both with and without propensity score matching. Results: 212,313 patients underwent TKA during the study period. 2466 (1.5%) were outpatient TKA in 2015-2017 and 3189 (5.6%) in 2018. After propensity matching, there were 2458 patients in each cohort. Rates of total 30-day complications were significantly lower in 2018 (3.7%) than the years TKA remained on the IPO (4.5%, P = .04). Similarly, rates of any reoperation decreased from 1.2% during 2015-2017 to 0.6% in 2018 (P = .03). There were no significant changes in rates of readmission (2.5% vs 2.2%, P = .5) or wound complications (0.8% vs 0.8%, P = 1.0). Conclusion: Removal of TKA from the IPO list did not result in an increase in complications or readmissions. These data suggest, despite the regulatory change, surgeons have continued to exercise sound judgment as to what patients can safely undergo outpatient TKA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2297-2301.e1
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • complications
  • inpatient-only list
  • outpatient surgery
  • total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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