The Growing Cost of Medical Implants and How Proper Inventory Management Can Help

Costs of medical implants are growing rapidly and according to one recent estimate, the medical implants market reached $89.2 billion in 2020 and is growing at 6.5% annually. As implants are a required, rapidly growing expense for the healthcare industry, hospitals should manage their implant inventory consciously.

Surgery is an expensive and complicated endeavor, and if a surgery requires an implant like an artificial hip or a mesh graft, costs begin to rise quickly. The price of implants varies widely, but the fact that they must be sterile, made to perform for a lifetime, and require extensive R&D usually comes with a hefty price tag. While some procedures are less expensive than others, they will still range from a few thousand dollars all the way into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Current struggles by hospitals to control their spend on implants is only making the costs of surgery more expensive. There are many instances where implant inventory is poorly tracked, and the industry suffers high rates of product loss, expiration, and damage. This waste costs everyone in the supply chain – manufacturers, hospitals, patients, payers – billions of dollars per year in aggregate. Effective supply management can drastically reduce the cost of waste and reduce the need for high-cost, last-minute transportation.

Therefore, to conserve resources and reduce waste, inventory managers now more than ever need to focus on reducing spend on overstocked or unused implants and supplies. Data is the key to this analysis because without reliable, clean data it will be hard to convince physicians and nurses of the need to reduce PAR levels. If your procedural areas lack an easy-to-use data analytics tool, consider an implant and supply tracking system like iRISupply that combines inventory management software with powerful analytics. iRISupply will not only provide you with the usage data and reports you need to manage your inventory but will take it one step further and provide actionable recommendations about which products are overstocked, understocked or that can be eliminated altogether. Mobile Aspects experts will also sit down with you quarterly as part of a best-in-class customer success program to discuss strategies to perfect your inventory mix and review the data behind those suggestions. These recommendations can then be taken to physicians for review, a discussion that will lead to substantial savings for your department.

The healthcare market is moving quickly moving towards price transparency. This will require that healthcare professionals have access to cost-related information, even that which was previously undisclosed. The benefit of this, beyond giving individual consumers more responsibility for choosing cost-effective treatment, is that surgeons will be able to combat rising healthcare costs directly with wise decisions around which implants and supplies they use. With systems like iRISupply we are one step closer to providing surgeons and physicians the visibility into the price of implants that will empower strategic, data-driven change within healthcare.