Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Snuffing Out Surgical Smoke - December 2019 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/1191250

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Page 8 of 156

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 9 rays. My femur and tibia, bowlegged as croquet wickets in the pre-op film, are now as ramrod straight as football goal posts. An unexpected bonus: I'm a half-inch or so taller. My knee cartilage had totally worn down so that I was bone-on-bone, the end of my femur sitting precari- ously on my tibia. Not only did surgery straighten my legs out, but the implants created joint space where the cartilage used to be. At my first clinic visit, I told my terrific surgeon, Eric B. Smith, MD, of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia, that I was edi- tor of Outpatient Surgery. I even brought a copy of the magazine with me. No, he said, my surgery would not be "outpatient" because I wouldn't be discharged the same day. That got me wondering how many others equated outpatient with same-day discharge. Yes, I spent a night in the surgical hospital where Dr. Smith performed my surgery and then a week at a rehabilitation hospital (with an ultra-sensitive bed alarm!), but my surgery was still an outpatient procedure. As alternate-site facilities such as surgical centers and surgical hospitals host more complex and invasive surgeries that require an overnight stay, we can no longer confine "outpatient surgery" to procedures with a same-day discharge. I was also struck by the barrage of bills that came in the mail in the days and weeks after surgery. Everybody had their hand in my out-of- pocket: the surgeon, the surgical hospital, the orthopedic institute, the medical group and the anesthesia group, which failed to submit its charges to my insurer. I even owed the kindly psychologist who stopped in to see me at the rehab hospital a $22 copay. Here, I thought she was just being nice when she stopped by to chat. Thankfully, I didn't get a bill for disabling my bed alarm with one good yank. OSM

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