Kate Koplan, MD, discusses the success of Kaiser Permanente’s National Total Joint Replacement Initiative


Total hip and knee replacements used to require at least 1 or 2 days in the hospital and then several days in a rehabilitation facility. Kate Koplan, MD, said in a recent interview with Managed Healthcare Executive that most of Kaiser Permanente’s total hip and knee replacement patients now go home on the same day their surgery takes place because of the success of the organization’s National Total Joint Replacement Initiative.

Kate Koplan, MD, headshot
Kate Koplan, MD

Dr. Koplan, national quality leader for the total joint initiative, credits much of the program’s success to patient centricity and physician leadership.

“Some of our early adopters were having wonderful experiences with the program,” said Dr. Koplan, who also serves as chief quality officer of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group. “When we hear that kind of feedback from our patients, we want to learn more and see if we can provide that opportunity to more patients.”

When Kaiser Permanente launched the initiative in 2016, just 7.2% of the roughly 20,000 total hip and knee replacement patients each year were discharged without an overnight stay. By 2019, that figure had grown to 62%.

Today, 90% of Kaiser Permanente’s total hip and knee replacement patients are offered same-day discharge as an option and same-day discharges have increased to 80%.

Physician leadership played a critical role in driving acceptance of the program across the 8 Permanente Medical Groups, which provide care to 12.4 million Kaiser Permanente members.

“We had a few areas – predominantly in California, but across our Kaiser Permanente enterprise – where we have some physicians leading these programs,” Dr. Koplan said, noting that such physician engagement facilitated rapid “best-practice spread.”

The program also fulfilled the quadruple aim by being cost effective while maintaining and even improving quality, she added.

Note: To read the full article and view videos of Dr. Koplan describing the initiative, visit the Managed Healthcare Executive website.