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Published on January 08, 2014

UHS ranked among best hospitals for joint replacement

UHS News Release

Release:  Immediately

Contact:  Jon Tooley, 762-2336 or

January 7, 2014  

UHS ranked among best hospitals for joint replacement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has named UHS one of the best hospitals in the country for hip and knee replacement surgery. UHS is one of only six hospitals in New York State, and one of only 97 in the entire United States, to receive the designation. CMS has begun publishing how well patients fare after joint replacement, evaluating how often people who have had the operations are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. The federal agency also is evaluating hospitals on how often joint replacement patients die or suffer serious complications, such as blood clots, infections or problems with the artificial joints, following the surgeries. In its first review, CMS rated most hospitals as average, but ranked UHS and 96 others across the country as performing better than average in avoiding readmissions, complications or both.

CMS, previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration, is the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid and children's health insurance. The agency also administers standards for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and quality standards for nursing homes and clinical laboratories nationwide.

Joint replacement is an increasingly common type of surgery in which an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. The materials used are designed to enable the replacement joint to move just like a natural joint.  The prosthesis is generally composed of two parts:  a metal piece that fits closely into a matching, sturdy plastic piece. Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability.  It is most commonly performed for osteoarthritis or other knee diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. Likewise, hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant.  The operation can be performed as a total replacement or a hemi-, or half-, replacement.  It is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or fix severe physical joint damage as part of hip fracture treatment. Complications, such as infections or blood clots, can occur following surgery, which means that clinical teams must work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient and circumvent a readmission to the hospital. Following surgery, therapeutic exercise also is an important part of the recovery process.

At UHS, it is projected that more than 3,000 orthopedic surgeries, many of them hip and knee replacements performed at UHS Binghamton General Hospital, will be completed during 2014. Also in 2014, UHS plans a renovation project at UHS Binghamton General that will expand UHS' Joint Replacement Program and create private rooms for patients. 

With a staff of orthopedic surgeons and a multidisciplinary hospital-based team, UHS' program focuses on reducing pain, increasing mobility and improving the patient's overall satisfaction. In addition to surgeons, the team includes physical and occupational therapists, nurses, case managers and other specialists who work together to deliver the best possible care and maintain the program’s high standards. Patient care is coordinated so that each individual is followed from surgery through discharge, and receives education about returning to regular physical activities. The most advanced procedures and current technology help ensure that surgeries are conducted safely and that outcomes are the most favorable possible for the patient.


UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services from more than 60 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.


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