Declines in Lower Extremity Amputation in the US Medicare Population, 2000-2010

SAGE: February 5, 2013

Background: Despite evidence that improved outcomes are associated with more distal lower extremity amputations (LEA), the impact of recent advances in the orthopedic approach to diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) on the use and anatomic level of LEAs is unknown.

Methods: We queried the complete Medicare Part B claims database (2000-2010) for volume and reimbursement of all codes designating LEAs (hip and below) as well as a selection representing orthopedic treatments for DFU. Procedures were grouped for analysis; utilization rates per 100,000 Medicare enrollees and compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of payments were calculated. Data are presented in the context of national health care spending trends. Read more