GAO: Orthopedic implantable device admission rates soar

Knee replacement rates grew 6.7% annually from 2003 to 2009, reflecting a broad increase in admission rates for orthopedic implantable medical devices over that time period, according to a new report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, intended to track Medicare spending in the space. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighted some of the details.) At the same time, however, admission rates for dual-chamber pacemakers, by contrast, dropped steadily over that period. But admission rates for defibrillators and drug-coated stents grew through 2006 and then dropped in subsequent years as procedures for these implants shifted more to outpatient settings, the article notes. Story