According to Definitive Healthcare data, more than 58 million inpatient and 184 million outpatient surgical procedures were performed in 2016 (according to most recent CMS data).
The most popular outpatient procedure by far is a routine venipuncture (CPT code 36415). Routine venipunctures were performed nearly 113 million times in 2016, over 47 times more often than the next most common procedure, esophageal biopsy (CPT code 43239). The most commonly reported inpatient procedure is the insertion of an infusion device into the superior vena cava (ICD-10 code 02HV33Z). This procedure was performed more than twice as often as the second most commonly performed inpatient procedure, insertion of endotracheal airway into the trachea (ICD-10 code 0BH17EZ).
Outpatient procedures were performed approximately three times more then inpatient procedures. This could be a result of the shift from inpatient to outpatient care, and the emphasis on urgent care and outpatient surgery centers. As more procedures are shifted off the “inpatient-only” list, patients are free to seek care outside of the traditional inpatient hospital setting. Comprehensive joint replacement, one of the most popular procedures in the U.S., may be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for insurance coverage at outpatient surgery centers.
Knee replacement surgeries currently place fifth and sixth for most popular inpatient surgeries. Interestingly, more than 12,000 replacements of the right knee joint were performed than replacements of the left knee.