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."