Delaying or not providing a prosthesis increases direct healthcare costs by approximately 25% over the initial 12 months post-amputation, according to results from the IMPACT study conducted by Hanger Inc.

In addition, earlier receipt of a prosthesis was associated with reduced direct healthcare spending in the same time period of approximately $25,000, per the study, published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“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,” James Campbell, PhD, Hanger Chief Clinical Officer, states in a media release.

The IMPACT study, conducted to evaluate the impact of overall healthcare costs associated with the timing of definitive fitting and delivery of a lower limb prosthesis following amputation, utilized the IBM Watson Truven Health Marketscan, a national commercial claims database, and analyzed data on 510 patients with lower limb amputations.

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 3 months post-lower limb amputation yielded a reduced total cost by approximately 25% within 12 months following amputation when compared to the no-prosthesis group. Additionally, individuals who still received a prosthesis within 9 months post-amputation incurred costs similar to the no-prosthesis group despite the included costs of a prosthesis, the release continues.

“As the leader in our profession, it is our responsibility to provide objective clinical insight to support professionals in making informed, unbiased decisions about appropriate patient care,” Hanger President and Chief Executive Officer Vinit Asar states in the release. “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.”

[Source(s): Hanger Inc, Business Wire]