Navigating the reopening of elective procedures will undoubtedly be a daunting task for hospitals as they work towards reattaining their pre-COVID status. While answering the question of when to resume these procedures will differ for each healthcare system (and most likely be based on new case numbers and bed capacity); the broader question of “how” still remains. In a recent blog post, the Advisory Board recommends that cardiovascular procedures – specifically electrophysiology procedures – would be a smart place to start. In doing so, there are three points to consider when evaluating why EP procedures should be among the first to be resumed.
EP procedures are clinically urgent. These interventions delay the progression of cardiovascular disease and minimize the severity of potential risks later on (such as heart attack or stroke) if left untreated.
EP procedures require less infrastructure. EP procedures are generally outpatient in nature and therefore minimally impact hospital bed capacity. They also require less labor, staff support, and personal protective equipment in comparison to other invasive CV procedures.
EP procedures are financially important. The profitability of these procedures has great strategic importance as healthcare systems work to regain their fiscal footing in the months ahead. Median profit per case for outpatient EP procedures is 319% higher than CV procedures overall.
However, it is important to note that the profitability of EP procedures is generally much higher for commercial reimbursement in comparison to Medicare reimbursement. For instance, a hospital being commercially reimbursed for a single EP procedure could bring in around $15,000, whereas a hospital being reimbursed through Medicare could expect approximately $3,000 for the same procedure.
An article in EP Lab Digest further expands on this by demonstrating how reprocessing increases profitability regardless of how a hospital is reimbursed. Typically, using a reprocessed catheter in an EP procedure would cost $1,250 – as opposed to $2,500 for a brand new one. That translates to $1,250 in added profit for each procedure. When it comes to the bottom line, the healthcare industry could be saving nearly half a billion dollars. And that is only the beginning of potential savings that reprocessing can bring to the industry.
It is clear that our current healthcare system cannot adequately take on any additional burdens than it already has – fiscal or otherwise. Choosing single-use reprocessed medical devices is a safe, smart option that hospitals have at their disposal right now. Please share this article and comment with your thoughts below.