Short-term functional recovery after total joint arthroplasty is unaffected by bundled payment participation

Joshua K. Johnson, Jill A. Erickson, Caitlin J. Miller, Julie M. Fritz, Robin L. Marcus, Christopher E. Pelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Bundled payment models for lower extremity total joint arthroplasty (TJA) aim to improve value by decreasing costs via efficient care pathways. It is unclear how such models affect patient-centered outcomes such as functional recovery. We aimed to determine whether participation in bundled payment for TJA negatively affects patients’ functional recovery. Methods: All patients, regardless of payer, undergoing elective TJA between July 2014 and December 2016 were identified retrospectively and categorized into prebundle (n = 680) and postbundle (n = 1216) cohorts. Mixed-effects linear regression and Wald postests were used to test for differences in patients’ functional recovery during the hospital period and over 12 months after TJA between cohorts. We also used multivariate regression to test for differences in hospital length of stay (LOS) and postacute care (PAC) facility use between cohorts. Results: Compared with the prebundle cohort, patients in the postbundle cohort demonstrated a small and nonmeaningful difference in the trajectory of functional recovery in the hospital [χ 2 (3) = 31.3, P <.01] and no difference in the 12 months after TJA [χ 2 (3) = 3.9, P =.28]. They had a 0.4-day shorter hospital LOS (95% confidence interval: −0.5, −0.3) and decreased odds for PAC facility use (adjusted odds ratio = 0.3; 95% confidence interval: 0.2, 0.4). Conclusions: Participation in bundled payment for TJA was not associated with significant changes in patients’ functional recovery, an important patient-centered outcome. For the postbundle cohort, hospital LOS and PAC facility use were decreased, consistent with previous studies describing cost-saving strategies in bundled payment. These findings support the need for an ongoing study of the long-term sustainability of these value-based payment models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalArthroplasty Today
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Alternative payment models
  • Arthroplasty
  • Patient outcomes
  • Physical function
  • Value


Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term functional recovery after total joint arthroplasty is unaffected by bundled payment participation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this