Healthcare technology: physician collaboration in reducing the surgical cost.Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Jun; 471(6):1854-64.CO
The increasing cost of providing health care is a national concern. Healthcare spending related to providing hospital care is one of the primary drivers of healthcare spending in the United States. Adoption of advanced medical technologies accounts for the largest percentage of growth in healthcare spending in the United States when compared with other developed countries. Within the specialty of orthopaedic surgery, a variety of implants can result in similar outcomes for patients in several areas of clinical care. However, surgeons often do not know the cost of implants used in a specific procedure or how the use of an implant or technology affects the overall cost of the episode of care.
The purposes of this study were (1) to describe physician-led processes for introduction of new surgical products and technologies; and (2) to inform physicians of potential cost savings of physician-led product contract negotiations and approval of new technology.
We performed a detailed review of the steps taken by two centers that have implemented surgeon-led programs to demonstrate responsibility in technology acquisition and product procurement decision-making.
Each program has developed a physician peer review process in technology and new product acquisition that has resulted in a substantial reduction in spending for the respective hospitals in regard to surgical implants. Implant costs have decreased between 3% and 38% using different negotiating strategies. At the same time, new product requests by physicians have been approved in greater than 90% of instances.
Hospitals need physicians to be engaged and informed in discussions concerning current and new technology and products. Surgeons can provide leadership for these efforts to reduce the cost of high-quality care.