Florida ASC kicks off total joint program; no complications, infections after 90 days

North Florida Surgery Center in Pensacola launched the first outpatient total joint replacement program in Escambia County in July, and it has reported impressive results after collecting 90-day outcomes from its patients.

The surgery center's 90-day patient outcome study demonstrated:

  • No reported infections
  • No reported postoperative complications
  • Knee flexion up to 110 degrees by week four
  • Average overall patient satisfaction of 9 out of 10

The total joint program is led by orthopedic surgeon Richard Sellers, MD, and Jill Maruschak, RN, MSN, quality director of the program.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely helped reshape the procedures being done in an outpatient surgery center," Jessica Sorsby, administrator at the ASC, told Becker's in an email. "Having outcomes supporting that these procedures are being conducted as safely or more safely than in an inpatient setting benefits patients, physicians and the healthcare system."

Despite North Florida Surgery Center's success, many ASCs report one key barrier to making total joint programs financially feasible: insurers' limitations in covering implant costs. Without an increase in ASC facility reimbursement or coverage of the implant cost with certain commercial payers, total joint replacements can be challenging to successfully implement in surgery centers, which can limit access to care.

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