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People often say 75% of healthcare dollars are spent on chronic disease. While that statistic is shocking, the truth is the bulk of that spending is concentrated on what occurs when one is hospitalized.

In fact, on average 1 surgery costs the same as living with diabetes for 33 years. 1 2

So it is no wonder that as value based care is rolled out, the government is focusing is surgical spending. In fact, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) are rolling out a new program to reduce the costs associated with its highest cost surgery- total joint replacement.

If you are a joint replacement patient it is important to know that changes in the system are coming. Taking ownership of your procedure is essential to getting the best outcome possible.

The Challenge of Getting Prepared

Less than a month ago I found myself sitting with my Dad, thumbing through the pre-operative management book his doctor had given him ahead of his second knee replacement.

As I flipped through the 20 pages of checklists, phone numbers and diagrams a few things became clear to me:

  • Getting my Dad prepared for surgery would have a big impact on keeping him safe and having a good outcome
  • Figuring out what to do and when to do it is a mess
  • No one was checking in with my Dad to make sure he was prepared, it was up to him to get ready for major surgery

Step One: Join Your Care Team

We prepare for most major moments in life. We study for the SAT to get into college. We plan for months to have a wedding. We invest heavily in our bodies to have a healthy child. But somehow, for major surgery, most people just show up.

We trust that our expert surgeons and members of the care team to do their jobs. But, the reality is the most important person on the care team is the patient.

Our condition and habits prior to surgery have meaningful impacts on our outcomes

  • Diet: Pre-op nutritional status can reduce hospital stay following a total hip or knee replacement. study
  • Exercise: The biggest predictor of post-op range of motion following total joint replacement is pre-op range of motion. study
  • Mental Resiliency: Anxiety and depression increase complication risk in hip and knee replacement patients. Knee patients with depression/anxiety had $3420 higher care costs. study
  • Environment Prep: Pre-op home preparation reduces the need post-op care and saves $1,215 in total joint replacement patients. study

Think about it like this: you are being brought to the boundary of life and death by anesthesia so that a surgeon can make an invasive change to your body. You should do everything you can to make sure your risks are as low as possible and your benefit is as high as possible.

I’m not writing this to scare you. I’m writing it so you understand that anything you can do to reduce your risk and improve your outcomes is good for everyone involved- you, your family, your surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurses. So for the sake of everyone involved, join your care team by playing an active role in your preparation and recovery.

Step Two: PreHab Your Way to Success

The good news here is that the care team is eager to recruit you to be their star member. They want to know you are taking care of what will help you and them achieve what is a common goal, a successful surgery and a complication-free, speedy recovery.

The even better news is we’ve created a program to help you get ready that is easy to follow and backed by a ton of evidence. Its called PreHab.

PeerWell has worked with the best experts in medicine to help every patient be prepared for hip and knee replacement surgery.

Using PeerWell, you will get a personalized daily checklist of specific exercises and activities that will optimize your health before your surgery. Not only will these activities help you during the surgery itself, but they are designed to help you recover faster after, so you can get back to being you.

PreHab covers everything from physical exercise, nutrition adjustment, pain management, and more. You’ll get to team up with others who are having your same surgery at the same time. And you’ll be given access to people who have already recovered from the procedure you are having.

We’re excited to introduce you to PreHab, the best way for you to become the leader of your care team and help you be prepared for a better life!

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