As you may know, treatment for a total hip arthroplasty and/or total knee arthroplasty involves surgical repair, stabilization and post-acute rehabilitation. While costly, these procedures often improve quality of life for patients.

At the same time, the costs of rehabilitation have been on the rise, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has developed policies to ensure rehabilitation treatment is given in an appropriate setting.

At Palm Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility, we have undertaken a project that focuses on clinical outcomes for THA and TKA patients who choose to recover at a skilled nursing facility. We strive to inform patients and medical stakeholders of the potential clinical outcomes when SNFs are used to provide rehabilitation at a reduced cost and with positive results.

Through careful literature review, quantitative coding, data collection and analysis, we are able to observe the following results:

  • The outcome measures display a significant improvement from baseline records to discharge.
  • The option for post-acute rehab at an SNF will reduce costs while providing optimal care and recovery for THA and TKA patients.
  • Patients show improvements in all the outcome measures with the exception of maintaining a baseline for negotiating stairs during their stay at an SNF.
  • Providing both occupational therapy and physical therapy enables post-acute patients to have a longer stay in a facility that offers rehabilitation at a lesser cost compared with a hospital stay.
  • This study revels that a THA or TKA patient can return home with significant improvements.

Continued research is needed to determine which setting would be the most appropriate for THA and TKA patient rehabilitation. However, we are encouraged by the results of our study thus far. We have seen patients undergo rehabilitation at our SNF and return as close as possible to their prior level of function for ADLS in the least restrictive environment.

Submitted by Palm Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility, Laguna Hills, CA