Overseas health insurance customers might be interested to learn that certain hospitals can be riskier than others for patients undergoing elective total hip or total knee arthroplasty.
Research published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Rheumatology, found that hospitals with low surgical volumes had a higher risk of patients developing venous thromboembolism and even mortality after treatment.
Expatriate health insurance customers, however, should be safe in the knowledge that they will have access to some of the best healthcare in their region.
However, the researchers suggested that modifying systems and procedures at the low-volume sites could help reduce the complications experienced following joint replacement surgery.
Jasvinder Sing of the University of Alabama and lead author on the report commented: "It is important to understand the impact of peri- and post-operative medical complications on the success of joint replacement surgery.
"Possible cardiac complications, blood clots, or infections increase patient morbidity and mortality risk, which can lead to higher health care utilization and costs."