Likewise, studies suggest that physical therapy may make many knee surgeries unnecessary.
The AHRQ's 2011 lineup of the 20 most costly procedures based on aggregated costs for hospital stays "accounted for more than half (54%) of the 15.7 million OR procedures performed in 2011," the reports says.
AHRQ's 20 Most Costly Procedures, 2011
- Heart valve procedures ($53,400)
- Coronary artery bypass graft ($38,700)
- Small bowel resection ($34,500)
- Procedures related to cardiac pacemaker or cardioverter/defibrillator ($33,200)
- Spinal fusion ($27,600)
- Colorectal resection ($23,400)
- Lobectomy or pneumonectomy ($23,000)
- Amputation of lower extremity ($21,200)
- Debridement of wound, infection , or burn ($20,700)
- Percutaneous coronary angioplasty ($18,800)
- Hip replacement, total and partial ($17,200)
- Treatment for fracture or dislocation of hip and femur ($16,800)
- Knee arthroplasty ($15,900)
- Treatment for fracture or dislocation of lower extremity (other than hip or femur ($13,700)
- Cholecystectomy and common duct exploration ($12,900)
- Laminectomy, excision intervertebral disc ($11,500)
- Hysterectomy, abdominal and vaginal ($9,300)
- Appendectomy ($9,200)
- Cesarean section ($5,900)
- Circumcision ($2,000)
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.