Significant Cost Benefits Associated With Earlier Prosthetic Fitting

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Hanger, Austin, Texas, announced results of its IMPACT study, which evaluated the impact of overall healthcare costs associated with the timing of definitive fitting and delivery of a lower-limb prosthesis following amputation. The IMPACT study utilized the IBM Watson Truven Health Marketscan, a national commercial claims database, and analyzed data on 510 patients with lower-limb amputations.

The results suggest that delaying or not providing a prosthesis increases direct healthcare costs by approximately 25 percent over the initial 12 months after amputation, according to the study's authors. Further, earlier receipt of a prosthesis was associated with reduced direct healthcare spending in the same time period of approximately $25,000.

"In light of previous studies that have demonstrated a link between prosthetic mobility and quality of life, the fact that a patient can receive a prosthesis as far as nine months post-amputation, with no increased costs compared to someone who does not receive a prosthesis, further demonstrates the holistic value of prosthetic rehabilitation," said James Campbell, PhD, Hanger's chief clinical officer.

Researchers in the clinical and scientific affairs department of Hanger Clinic, including Shane R. Wurdeman, PhD, CP, FAAOP, and Taavy Miller, MSPO, CPO, accompanied by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Department of Public Health, used generalized linear multivariate modeling to determine differences in direct healthcare costs in the 12 months post-amputation between groups based on timing of prosthesis receipt as well as a control group with no prosthesis. Results showed receipt of a prosthesis within three months after lower-limb amputation yielded a reduced total cost by approximately 25 percent within 12 months following amputation when compared to the no-prosthesis group. Additionally, individuals who still received a prosthesis within nine months post-amputation incurred costs similar to the no-prosthesis group despite the included costs of a prosthesis.

"Not only does prosthetic care help individuals reintegrate as productive members of society with an improved quality of life, but these findings are significant as they demonstrate the added value of a prosthesis in cost savings to the healthcare system," said Hanger CEO Vinit Asar.

To read the study, "Impact of Time to Receipt of Prosthesis on Total Healthcare Costs 12 Months Post-amputation," visit the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.