Long-term Financial and Patient Outcomes from Orthotics and Prosthetics

Long-term Financial and Patient Outcomes from Orthotics and Prosthetics

A study in the US has concluded that patients receiving Orthotics or Prosthetics experience improved outcomes and lower costs in the long run.

Research commissioned by the nonprofit Amputee Coalition states that patients who received orthotic or prosthetic services ultimately had lower or comparable Medicare costs than patients who do not receive such services.

The study was conducted by Dr. Allen Dobson, a Health Economist and former Director of the Office of Research at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The research encompassed nearly 42,000 sets of Medicare beneficiaries with claims from 2007 through 2010.

As a result, savings were able to be realised by patients avoiding hospitalizations and new injuries. It was found that Medicare saved approximately 10% - nearly $3,000 in lower overall costs - for those receiving lower leg prostheses than for those who did not.

“Looking at full costs and other outcomes over a 12- to 18-month period, our study concludes that patients who received the orthotic and prosthetic services experienced greater independence than patients who did not, with better or comparable health outcomes and generally lower Medicare payments,” Dobson said.

The researchers state that the study should be taken as evidence that despite the initial higher costs of orthotics and prosthetics, they do prove more cost effective over time. Consequently they stated that they hope the data will give private insurers and Medicare officials the data they need to approve more devices for the patients who need them.

Original Source StarTribune

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