Healthcare Business News

Cardiac mapping system costs rise due to new models

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: May 21, 2014 - 12:15 pm ET

The average cost of basic cardiac mapping systems went up nearly 13% over the past year due to the introduction of two new models to the U.S. market and an increasing number of hospitals purchasing highly configured and costlier systems, according to the most recent Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.

The TPI index looks at monthly and annual price data for about 30 supply and capital items purchased by healthcare providers, based on three-month rolling averages. Cardiac mapping systems are a new category on the monthly index.

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The average base price for a system is $216,000. While the average price for older base models is $175,000, the average price of a highly configured system can top $400,000. Older models have more configurations available, including image fusion modules or carts and generators.

Cardiac mapping systems are used in electrophysiology laboratories to identify, diagnose and treat certain cardiac arrhythmias. It's estimated that about 15% of U.S. hospitals utilize cardiac mapping systems, according to Robert Bense, manager of ECRI's SELECT program. The systems are usually replaced every eight to 10 years.

The average price increase is likely due to the introduction of two new systems in the last year from Boston Scientific and Topera Medical, which say the newer models are faster and can handle more complex cases, said Kevin Lee, senior analyst for ECRI's Select program.

“But there's not a lot of clinical data out there,” he added.

Other manufacturers of these kinds of systems include Biosense Webster and St. Jude Medical.

Healthcare providers may be interested in purchasing newer models because the overall process in an electrophysiology lab can take about six hours, Bense said.

Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee

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