Costs for hip and knee replacements could be reduced, saving billions every year

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About 723,000 knee replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2014.

The U.S. could save billions of dollars per year by controlling costs related to elective hip and knee replacements, according to an article by members of the Center for Health Advancement at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The analysis was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in 2014, approximately 505,000 hip replacements and 723,000 knee replacements were performed in the U.S.

With the U.S. currently spending nearly 18 percent of its gross domestic product on medical care, almost twice as much as other high-income countries, we need to look at every opportunity to reduce costs from services that may be overutilized,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor at the Fielding School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the study’s co-author. “Elective joint replacements could represent an area for significant savings.” 

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