Customized knee implants cost less than standard implants — 5 study insights

Spinal Tech

A study published in Orthopaedic Proceedings examined if custom-made joint replacement implants drove cost-savings compared to standard implants.

Researchers identified 4,434 Medicare beneficiaries who received either a custom implant (713) or a standard implant (3,695).

What they found:

1. Custom implant-related expenses were 6.5 percent less than standard implant-related expenses.

2. Custom implant patients were 37.5 percent less likely to incur skilled nursing facility-related costs and spent 45.1 percent less on skilled nursing facility-based care than those receiving standard implants.

3. There was no difference on incurring post-index inpatient costs, but average post-index inpatient spending was 27.2 percent lower in the custom implant group.

4. The custom implant group was more likely to incur outpatient-related costs and had higher outpatient-related expenditures than the standard implant group.

5. The custom implant group had a lower average 12-month episode spending rate ($18,585) than the standard implant group ($20,280).

Researchers said, "Study findings demonstrate that the use of CIM technology can result in significant 12-month episode savings among a Medicare population. … [Custom-implant] technology should be considered as a method to reduce total knee arthroplasty episode spending."

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