Why Are Consumers Paying More for Bleaker Hip Replacement Outcomes?
Although 2013 is not yet over, an estimated one million knee and hip replacement procedures are costing Medicare more than $6 billion this year, making these the most commonly performed procedures in the country. The number of knee replacements has doubled in the past decade, increasing by an average of eight percent annually. Additionally, one in twelve adults over 25 years of age will require a knee replacement procedure as they age, and an average of five percent of women over 50 years of age have needed a knee replacement procedure. Unfortunately, studies show that the cost of performing knee and hip replacements is growing exponentially although hip replacement outcomes are leaving little to be desired.
Reports Suggest Poor Hip Replacement Outcomes
The quality of products and care provided by hospitals is allegedly decreasing despite the increasing cost for procedures. Experts assert that patients typically have a significant amount of time to research and find a facility qualified to perform the procedures to ensure the best possible hip replacement outcomes. In fact, one report suggests choosing a hospital that has performed 200 or more knee and hip replacement or reattachment procedures annually. Studies suggest that those who are cared for at higher volume hospitals may have a lower risk of suffering from infections, heart attacks and complications including blood clots, pneumonia and death.
However, statistics show that one out of every four hospitals in America performs 200 procedures each year. Similarly, two in five patients are treated at facilities other than those performing the recommended number of surgeries. The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, for example, has the highest patient volume in the country and saw over 3,800 individuals in 2011. On the other hand, Wyoming, Arkansas and Hawaii do not have facilities that perform over 200 procedures annually, so roughly four million individuals living in these states do not have access to a higher quality knee and hip replacement facility.
Conversely, studies show that hip replacement outcomes may be better at four of the nation’s least expensive hospitals. Each of the top ten most expensive hospitals in the country failed to meet the criteria of 200 procedures per year. Additionally, reports suggest that facilities that do perform the recommended number of procedures often charge less than those who do not meet this standard.
Current DePuy Lawsuits
While experts and research has shown that Americans are paying more for poor hip replacement outcomes, DePuy, the manufacturer of the ASR hip implant, is currently facing claims from patients alleging that the device caused soft tissue damage, bone fractures, metal sensitivity, walking difficulties, inflammation and pain. The DePuy ASR implant was recalled in August 2010 due to an alleged increased risk of complications and high failure rates and removed over 93,000 units from the market.
While the first multidistrict litigation bellwether trial was to be held September 24, 2013, the date was postponed for 90 days to allow additional time to determine a schedule for expert witnesses and for document discovery. However, on October 1, 2013, prior to the start of a California DePuy bellwether trial, DePuy made an agreement with the plaintiff for an unknown amount of compensation. One week later, Bergen County District Court in New Jersey determined that another case was settled and removed the claim from the calendar on October 8, 2013.
Attorneys speculate that the cases could follow a pattern and that future cases could mirror the two that came before them. In other words, lawsuits against the manufacturer may stand a good chance of ending in settlements or delay, although it is still too early to determine future outcomes.
Interested in Learning More? Let the American Injury Attorney Group Help You
Have you or someone you love received a DePuy hip implant and you are now suffering from adverse side effects or a life-threatening condition? If you would like to learn more about filing a claim against DePuy or about hip replacement outcomes or lawsuits as a whole, the American Injury Attorney Group will strive to answer your questions. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit against DePuy and seek compensation for your injuries. We will connect you with an experienced lawyer who will handle your claim from this point forward. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free consultation.