When hospitals could no longer manage reprocessing internally, third-party reprocessors jumped in to fill the gap. Leading reprocessor Ascent, A Stryker Sustainability Solution, winner of the Practice Green Health Champion for Change Award, now works with almost 1,900 hospitals in the U.S. to divert 5.3 million pounds of waste from the landfills and saves some hospitals more than $600,000 per year.
Reprocessed devices typically cost 40 percent to 60 percent less than new ones. The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) estimates total U.S. hospital 2008 savings from reprocessing at $178 million. According to Thording, to date the FDA has only cleared approximately 2 percent of medical devices for reprocessing and, so far, not all hospitals have fully leveraged reprocessing to maximize savings. HE noted that third-party industry analysts project domestic market growth at more than 20 percent each year for the next five years.