The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient perception of orthopedic surgeon reimbursement for total hip (THA) and knee (TKA) arthroplasty. A total of 1120 consecutive patients were asked what they believed a surgeon should be paid for performing THA and TKA. Patients were then asked to estimate what Medicare actually reimbursed for each of these procedures. On average, patients thought that surgeons should receive $14,358 for THA and $13,332 for TKA. Patients estimated actual Medicare reimbursement to be $8212 for THA and $7196 for TKA. Most of the patients stated that Medicare reimbursement was "much lower" than what it should be. Many patients commented that given this discrepancy, surgeons may drop Medicare, which may decrease access to quality hip and knee arthroplasties.
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