Hospitals more specialized in orthopedic surgery show better outcomes for hip and knee replacement February 17, 2010 Click Here to read full article A recent study of Medicare data by University of Iowa investigators indicates that hospitals with a higher degree of orthopedic specialization provide better outcomes for patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery.The findings, which appear in the online version of the British Medical Journal, were based on a retrospective study of nearly 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older who had hip or knee replacement procedures between 2001 and 2005 at 3,818 U.S. hospitals. The investigators grouped the hospitals into five categories according to their degree of orthopedic specialization. Orthopedic procedures accounted for 10.5% of admissions at the average hospital, while they represented 14.5% or more of the admissions in the most specialized group… …”The findings suggest that more specialized hospitals have better outcomes even after we account for the type of patients each hospital cares for and the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries that each hospital performs,” Tyson Hagen, MD, the lead author of the study, stated in the release… Reference: Hagen TP, Vaughan-Sarrazin MS, Cram P. Relation between hospital orthopaedic specialisation and outcomes in patients aged 65 and older: retrospective analysis of US Medicare data. BMJ. Published online 2010 Feb 11.