How accurately are we coding readmission diagnoses after total joint arthroplasty?

James Saucedo, Geoffrey S. Marecek, Jungwha Lee, Lois Huminiak, S. David Stulberg, Lalit Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Readmission rates have been cited as an important quality measure in the Affordable Care Act. Accordingly, understanding and accurately tracking the causes for readmission will be increasingly important. We queried an electronic database for all patients who underwent primary THA or TKA at our institution from 2006 through 2010. We identified those readmitted within 90 days of surgery and analyzed 87 random de-identified medical records. We then assigned a clinical diagnosis for each readmission, which was then compared with the coder-derived diagnosis by ICD-9 code. The overall 90-day readmission rate was 7.9%. We identified 22 of 87 patients for whom there was disagreement (25.3%, 95% CI = 16.6-35.8%). The most common were procedure-related complications. Coded diagnoses frequently did not correlate with the physician-derived diagnoses. The unverified use of coded readmission diagnoses in calculating quality measures may not be clinically relevant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1079
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Coding accuracy
  • Complications
  • Readmission
  • Total joint arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'How accurately are we coding readmission diagnoses after total joint arthroplasty?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this