Does Surgeon Compensation Differ by Implant Choice for the Treatment of Femoral Neck Fractures?


The objective of this study was to determine if physicians are compensated equally for the treatment of femoral neck fractures based on fixation method in a propensity score matched cohort of patients. The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS NSQIP) database was queried for patients undergoing open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), hemiarthroplasty (HA), and total hip arthroplasty (THA) for femoral neck fractures. Exact matching was used to account for differences in patient-specific variables and underlying medical comorbidities. Total relative value units (RVU), operative time, RVU/minute, and reimbursement/minute were compared between the three procedures after exact matching to assess relative valuation. Propensity score matching resulted in a total of 4,581 patients eligible for final data analysis (1,527 patients in each treatment group). The groups were very well matched for age, sex, BMI, comorbidities, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class (p > 0.99 for all). When dividing compensation by case duration, ORIF generated the most RVUs per minute (0.31 ± 0.19 or $11.01 ± 7.02) followed by THA (0.27 ± 0.14 or $9.86 ± 5.15) and HA (0.25 ± 0.1 or $8.99 ± 3.75; p<0.001 for all). This study shows that orthopaedic surgeons are compensated the most for ORIF followed by THA and HA for fixation of femoral neck fractures. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(3):164–168, 2023)

Key words: femoral neck fracture, relative value unit (RVU), open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), total hip arthroplasty (THA), hemiarthroplasty, trauma

Erik Gerlach, MD; John Carney, MD; Mark Plantz, MD; Colin K. Cantrell, MD; Jeremy Marx, MD; Peter Swiatek, MD; Rusheel Nayak, MD; and Bennet Butler, MD