Surgeons likely have very little insight when it comes to the price tag of the devices they implant in patients, a survey of orthopedic surgeons shows. Educating them on both cost and effectiveness is key to ultimately helping hospitals save money, experts agree.
“Physicians implanting devices have much more access to clinical data about efficacy and safety than data about pricing,” said Diane Robertson, director of health technology assessment information for the ECRI Institute. “But when physicians are able to look at the clinical and cost evidence together, they are very willing and like being able to include cost as part of their decisions.”
For a Health Affairs report released Monday, researchers surveyed 217 attending physicians and 286 residents about the estimated price tag of 13 common orthopedic devices. The results: Physicians were only within the ballpark in estimating cost 21% of the time, and residents 17% of the time.