The products included pedicle screws (PS), anterior cervical plates (ACP) and posterior interbody cages, which were purchased from a total of seven vendors.
Among the results:
- PS had a mean cost of $878, with a range of $400 to $1,843 per patient;
- ACP had a mean cost of $1,068, with a range of $540 to $2,388; and,
- cages, $2,975, with a range of $938 to $7,200
For every additional implant component purchased, the unit price was reduced by $.29, $4.33 and $6.86 for PS, ACP and cages, respectively.
A significant relationship exists between a lower unit cost of implants and the purchase of a larger number of components. The authors suggest that greater transparency, as well as a more coordinated implant selection and purchase process, that includes the surgeon, hospital and manufacturer, could reduce the wide variation in component cost, and contribute to overall lower health care expenditures.