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Healthcare Business News

Price paid for surgical tables up 16%

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: December 16, 2013 - 2:30 pm ET

The average price paid for operating room tables was 16% higher over the last year as more hospitals have purchased pricier orthopedic specialty tables and hybrid OR tables, according to the most recent Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.

The index looks at monthly and annual price data for about 30 supply and capital items purchased by hospitals and other healthcare providers, based on three-month rolling averages.

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General surgical tables, on average, cost about $50,000, while specialty tables can cost up to four times more. Orthopedic specialty tables usually run about $100,000 and the average price of hybrid OR tables is about $200,000. Different configurations can increase or decrease the total cost of the tables.

“The amount of interest in specialty tables is increasing gradually,” said Kevin Lee, an analyst in ECRI's healthcare technology advisory service.

The aging patient population is leading to an increase in joint replacements and other orthopedic procedures and is one reason why hospitals are buying more specialty tables. The move toward more minimally invasive procedures is another factor—hybrid ORs provide clinicians with the option to image a patient during a procedure and are often used for endovascular or cardiothoracic surgeries.

“These tables are expensive because they have to be interfaced with the imager,” Lee said.

Another reason hospitals are generally looking at acquiring both general and specialty tables is that the newer tables often have a higher weight limit, up to 1,000 pounds, which means they can be used during bariatric procedures for obese patients, said Michael Linehan, ECRI's director of medical equipment planning. This is also why healthcare providers are purchasing costlier stretchers.

Surgical tables have a roughly 10-year lifespan. The older tables usually have a weight limit of 350 pounds.

Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee

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