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Knee replacements are determined to be cost-effective

Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2009
A $20,000 procedure to replace a knee ravaged by arthritis in the elderly is generally a good deal for both patients and the federal Medicare program that pays the bill, according to a study. In the study, based on a computer model using Medicare claims and other data, total knee replacement provided about one year of better quality of life compared to that experienced by patients who didn't have the procedure, researchers said. The analysis found that the year of benefit cost about $18,300. Researchers said the amount fell well within the threshold of $50,000 per year of better-quality life generally considered as cost-effective.