Regional anesthesia has been shown to have a positive impact on pain scores, length of stay, postoperative nausea and vomiting, time in post-anesthesia care, and opioid use / adverse events. And according to Sonia Szlyk, MD, speaker at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care, it has also shown to have a positive impact on bundled payment programs.
“One of the reasons why regional is so impactful is because it allows us to be opioid sparing,” Szlyk said. “Opioid-related adverse events are costly and common. If you can do anything to reduce the patient’s need for opioids or reduce the risk of opioid-related adverse events, you are going to be more successful in a positive bundle payment scenario.”
According to a study published in Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacology, 12.2% of 320,000 patients who underwent a total hip or total knee replacement experienced an opioid-related adverse event. As noted by Szlyk, this added a substantial cost to the system and would destroy the bundle. This was because patients stayed in the hospital 3.3 days longer; hospital costs increased $4,707 on average, and the 30-day readmission rate rose.
More Benefits of Regional Anesthesia
In addition to its positive effect on bundled payments, regional anesthesia boasts a whole list of benefits, including:
- Decreased pain scores
- Decreased emergency room and hospital readmission
- Reduced need for acute rehabilitation and skill nursing facilities
- Less post-anesthesia care unit time
- Increased patient and surgeon satisfaction
According to a meta-analysis in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the incidence of surgical site infections was decreased with neuraxial anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia. And another study published in Anesthesiology that included over 380,000 patients who had undergone total hip or knee replacements at 400 different hospitals showed a decreased rate of 30-day mortality and in-hospital complications with neuraxial anesthesia compared with general anesthesia.
MBM Cares About Anesthesiologists and CRNAs
When it comes to navigating the world of value-based care and bundled payments, nobody knows the industry better than Medical Business Management. Contact us today for more information on how we can take the billing and coding burden off your shoulders so you can focus on your practice.