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Caguas Ambulatory Center performs 1st knee replacement in Puerto Rico

Caguas Ambulatory Surgical Center recently performed the first total knee replacement surgery in Puerto Rico, paving the way for 30% of patients needing this surgery to no longer have to go to a hospital and return home on the same day of the procedure.

There were approximately 1.2 million replacement surgeries in the United States in 2019. Shifting half of the joint replacement procedures from hospitals to ambulatory surgical centers could generate $3 billion in annual savings for commercial insurers, the federal government, and Medicare beneficiaries, Caguas Ambulatory officials said.

Puerto Rico ASC Holding, an Advent-Morro group company is the parent company of the healthcare facility.

Ambulatory surgical centers also provide advantages in terms of patient safety and decrease the risk of infection. Migrating half of the replacement patients to ambulatory centers can reduce the number of hospitalizations by more than 500,000 a year in the United States. In Puerto Rico, this number is estimated at about 5,000.

“Currently, 100% of knee replacements in Puerto Rico are done at hospitals,” said Angie Jiménez, the administrator of Caguas Ambulatory.

“Some important advantages for patients receiving this procedure at an ambulatory surgical center such as ours would have, we could highlight the lower cost of the procedure, an interdisciplinary team who would proactively plan a personalized experience focused on their fast recovery, and better control over the operation by the surgeon,” she said.

“This procedure is covered by all health insurance plans in Puerto Rico. Total knee replacements specifically became eligible for Medicare (CMS) payment in ambulatory surgical centers in 2020, and Medicare now added total hip replacements in 2021,” she added.

“The goal is to contribute efficiently to the improvement of the quality of Puerto Rico’s health system by providing patients who need ambulatory intervention with top facilities and the best doctors available in Puerto Rico,” she added.

A knee replacement is a procedure where the injured knee is replaced by an artificial joint (prosthesis). Caguas Ambulatory orthopedic surgeon Ricardo Reina performed the first surgery at the ambulatory center.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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