OBJECTIVE: To describe the extent to which patients were offered a choice between 2 or more hospitals for total knee replacement (TKR); to examine the association between having a choice of hospital for TKR and satisfaction with the surgery; and to identify population groups less likely to be offered a choice. METHODS: We studied a population-based sample of 932 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent elective TKR in 2000. We surveyed patients about their participation in choosing a hospital and their satisfaction with surgery. We examined whether lack of hospital choice influenced satisfaction with surgery after adjusting for age, sex, preoperative function, and socioeconomic status. RESULTS: Among 932 TKR recipients (mean age 74 years, 67% women), more than half (53%) reported having a lack of hospital choice. After adjusting for socioeconomic status, patients reporting lack of choice were approximately twice as likely to be dissatisfied with the results of surgery as patients who reported choosing among 2 or more hospitals for TKR (odds ratio [OR] 2.09, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.13-3.87). Results of logistic regression revealed that patients reporting lack of choice were more likely to be women (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.14-2.04), >80 years of age (as compared with 65-70 years; OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.03-2.57), living in suburban areas (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.23-2.30), nonwhite (OR 1.57, 95% CI 0.86-2.87), and were less likely to have TKR performed by a high-volume surgeon (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53-0.96). CONCLUSION: More than half of the patients did not have a choice in selecting the hospital where they had TKR. Patients reporting lack of choice were more likely to be dissatisfied with surgery. Interventions to address preferences for hospital may improve satisfaction with care for patients with advanced knee arthritis.
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