Does Medicaid payer status affect patient's shoulder outcomes after shoulder arthroplasty?

Musculoskelet Surg. 2021 Apr;105(1):43-47. doi: 10.1007/s12306-019-00627-w. Epub 2019 Nov 11.


Background: Low socioeconomic status and Medicaid insurance as a primary payer have been shown to influence resource utilization and risk-adjusted outcomes for total joint arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Medicaid primary payer status on outcomes following shoulder arthroplasty (SA).

Materials and methods: A retrospective review of shoulder surgery patients was undertaken to identify a matched cohort of 51 patients who underwent SA and were stratified based on insurance type into two cohorts: 28 Medicaid (M) patients and 23 non-Medicaid (NM) patients. Baseline demographics, resource utilization, and outcomes were compared as well as pre-and-postoperative patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and functional scores. PRO scores included the American shoulder and elbow surgeons score (ASES), the Penn shoulder score (PSS), and the subjective shoulder value (SSV).

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in demographics, comorbidities, or preoperative baseline scores between the cohorts, except for age (M: 55.3 years; NM: 67.5 years; p ≤ 0.001) and smoking status (M: 13 patients; NM: 4 patients; p = 0.029). Medicaid patients showed a slightly higher rate of missed follow-ups (M: 1.1 vs. NM: 0.9; p = 0.370). All Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients experienced significant improvement on PRO scores and active forward flexion. Medicaid patients demonstrated equivalent final postoperative scores for ASES (M: 65; NM: 57; p = 0.454), PSS (M: 63; NM: 51; p = 0.242), SSV (M: 70; NM: 69; p = 1.0) and range of motion measurements.

Discussion: Overall results suggest that Medicaid patients can expect significant improvement after SA and the same level of PRO's compared to non-Medicaid-insured population.

Level of evidence: Level III, Retrospective Comparative Design, Treatment Study.

Keywords: Follow-up; Medicaid; Outcomes; Payer status; Satisfaction; Shoulder arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Shoulder*
  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoulder
  • Shoulder Joint* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome