Orthopedic technology in the ASC – 2 strategies for budgeting and selection

Two orthopedic surgeons answer this question: How do you approach budgeting for and choosing new technology for your center?

Louis Levitt, MD. The Center for Advanced Orthopaedics (Bethesda, Md.): Those of us at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics who have ASC leadership roles are very careful and strategic when selecting new technology for orthopedic surgery centers. Since our doctors have varying levels of ownership in ASCs, we need to be more financially mindful than a hospital. However, since we have more control, we can push for new technology that we are passionate about and have more influence over what is purchased.

Thomas K. Miller, MD. Carilion Clinic Institute for Orthopaedic and Neurosciences (Roanoke, Va.): There are three core questions we consider:

1) Is the new technology bottom line fiscally positive? Case-costing can be a challenge especially if commercial insurers are skeptical of a procedure and inclined to deny payment. New technology may often be associated with ancillary case costs not typically considered. While some short-term loss may be acceptable during phase in, ultimately even the most intriguing or innovative surgical offering still needs to generate a positive income stream.

2) Does the new technology fit into or expand our existing service line and case mix or will it require a significant change in case scheduling, block times/OR access for current providers, staff training, facility work flows and patient throughput? We do not want to compromise our current positive case mix but we also want to retain facility users as they embrace new techniques and recruit new users if they bring the right case profile, including new technology and techniques.

3) Will the new technology realistically bring new cases, and are the anticipated volumes sufficient to justify the expense in new equipment and support services?

Dr. Levitt and Dr. Miller will share their expertise as speakers at the Becker's ASC 26th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, Oct. 24-26, 2019 in Chicago. To learn more and register, click here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at mjodoin@beckershealthcare.com. 

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