03/05/18 | Total knee arthroplasty (27447) removed from Inpatient only list – causing confusion

You may have been experiencing feedback from a facility when trying to schedule your total knee replacements as inpatients. 

Total knee arthroplasty (27447) removed from Inpatient only list – causing confusion
07/10/17 | New Category III codes effective Jan 1st, 2018

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07/10/17 | Spinal surgery

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06/10/16 | CMS starting to list ICD-10s not covered
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07/09/15 | Total joint issues from CMS
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12/31/14 | Holding claims and fee schedule issues for 2015
  Medicare wants claims held starting Jan 1, 2015
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08/20/14 | Medicare finally catching on that modifier 59 is not enough
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07/22/14 | Keep an eye on your private payer contracts..
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Check out this new released fact sheet from CMS regarding total jolint replacements - https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2015-17190.pdf

Here are some parts from the Fact Sheet.

Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement

Consumer Fact Sheet 

Hip and knee replacements are the most common inpatient surgery for Medicare beneficiaries and can require lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods. In 2013, there were more than 400,000 inpatient primary procedures costing more than $7 billion for hospitalization alone.


While some incentives exist for hospitals to avoid post-surgery complications that can result in pain, readmissions to the hospital, or protracted rehabilitative care, the quality and cost of care for these hip and knee replacement surgeries still varies greatly. For instance, the rate of complications like infections or implant failures after surgery can be more than three times higher at some facilities than others, which can lead to hospital readmissions and prolonged recoveries. And the average Medicare expenditure for surgery, hospitalization, and recovery ranges from $16,500 to $33,000 across geographic areas.

Here’s how it would work:


  • This initiative builds on successful demonstration programs already underway in Medicare, and among leading employers and health care providers. 
  • Under this proposed model, the hospital in which the hip or knee replacement takes place would be accountable for the costs and quality of care from the time of the surgery through 90 days after—what’s called an “episode” of care. 
  • Depending on the hospital’s quality and cost performance during the episode, the hospital would either earn a financial reward or be required to repay Medicare for a portion of the costs. This payment would give hospitals an incentive to work with physicians, home health agencies, and nursing facilities to make sure beneficiaries receive the coordinated care they need with the goal of reducing avoidable hospitalizations and complications. Hospitals would have additional tools – such as spending and utilization data and sharing of best practices - to improve the effectiveness of care coordination. 
  • By “bundling” these payments, hospitals and physicians have an incentive to work together to deliver more effective and efficient care. 
  • This model would be in 75 geographic areas throughout the country and most hospitals in those regions would be required participate.

And why we’re proposing it: 

  • Joint replacements are the most commonly performed Medicare inpatient surgery and their utilization is predicted to continue to grow. They can require long recoveries that may include extensive rehabilitation or other post-acute care, which provides many opportunities to reward providers that improve patient outcomes.    
  • By including all eligible hospitals in 75 geographic areas across the country, this model would drive significant movement towards new payment and care delivery models for an important set of conditions and surgeries for Medicare beneficiaries.
  •  This project supports HHS efforts to transform the health care system towards better quality care, smarter spending, and healthier people by focusing on care transformation and payment reform for a major surgery for many patients.  

The proposal is available at  https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2015-17190.pdf               

and can be viewed at http://federalregister.gov/a/2015-17190 starting July 14, 2015.


The deadline to submit comments is September 8, 2015.


For more information, visit: http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ccjr/


HHS Release: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/2015.html"