Healthcare reorganization and bundled payment schemes have resulted in increased patient travel distances in orthopedics. Travel distance has been previously associated with increased complication risk but has yet to be studied in orthopedics. We analyzed the impact of patient travel distance on short-term complications. We reviewed 38,887 TJAs performed between 2008 and 2011 and identified 1606 complications in 1110 procedures. There was no significant association between complication risk and patient travel distance. Complication risk was associated with age, ASA class, Medicare and Medicaid status (P<. 0.0001 for all). Regional centers of excellence appear to be a viable model in healthcare reorganization however continued attention should be paid to attenuating the individual patient factors associated with complication at these institutions.
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