The average cost of operating room tables increased this year as more providers purchased orthopedic specialty and hybrid OR tables, which can cost two to four times more than general surgical tables, according to the latest Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.
Demand for orthopedic tables has grown as knee and hip surgeries performed on the aging U.S. population spike, said Kevin Lee, senior analyst for ECRI's SELECTplus procurement advisory service.
Providers paid an average of $68,476 for OR tables between August and October, up 18% from the same period last year, the most recent Technology Price Index data showed. The TPI provides monthly and annual data on pricing for 30 supply and capital items that hospitals and other provider organizations purchase, based on three-month rolling averages.
The price of OR tables varies widely as they increase in sophistication. ECRI experts say they can cost from $25,000 to $250,000, with tables used in hybrid ORs—operating rooms that include imaging equipment—accounting for the most expensive models.
The price of a general surgical table averaged $45,000 over the past year, orthopedic tables cost an average of $100,000, and hybrid operating tables cost $220,000 on average, over four times the mean cost of a general surgical table.
Hybrid operating tables have become more popular as a growing number of hospitals add imaging to their ORs to save surgery time and limit patient movement, said Priyanka Shah, a project officer in ECRI's Health Devices group. The tables can be extended to reach nearby imaging equipment and its tops can be changed to help with patient movement.
Tables designed for hybrid ORs often employ carbon fiber in the tabletop, which can drive up the price. Not including the base of the table, the tabletop alone can cost as much as $75,000, Lee said.
Orthopedic tables tend to cost more than a general OR table because they come with a number of accessories used to secure limbs or position the patient. A lot of manufacturers also market the tables as multispecialty equipment and sell accessories that allow them to be used in specialties other than orthopedics.
The major manufacturers of OR tables include Maquet, Mizuho Orthopedic Systems, Skytron, Steris, Stryker and Trumpf.