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05.01.21

The ASC in 2021: 3 expert predictions on robotics

Three leaders shared their predictions for robotics in ASCs over the next 12 months with Becker’s ASC Review.

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for style and length.

Meredith Warf, administrator at Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center (Jackson): Computer-assisted navigation for joint replacement quickly became the standard of care. We’ve seen robotics slowly come onto the scene with barriers such as increased disposable cost required, advanced imaging studies needed and the sheer monstrosity of the machines in the ORs. The new robots today are as small as computer-assisted devices and are able to be performed with plain film X-rays as well as lower disposable costs. With the added surgery and quality data that can be gained through the robotic platform and integrated into our patient-reported outcomes pathway, we believe this invaluable piece of the puzzle will be helpful in planning the best care even before walking into the OR in the future.

Raghu Reddy, administrator at SurgCenter of Western Maryland (Cumberland): The role of robotics will continue to evolve in the coming years in the ASC space. The very word “robotics” will bring capital investment costs to the forefront of decision-making. Currently, there is not a lot of evidence proving that robotics significantly improves clinical results, especially in orthopedics, where some ASCs are adopting robotics. We could see the competitive advantage the robotics bring to an ASC, but the thing to keep in mind is the reimbursement from the payers to cover the entire capital and maintenance costs of the robotic program in the ASC. We should continue to study the evolving clinical evidence for the outcomes before a justification can be made to include robotics and the footprint needed to accommodate this program.

Taylor Cera, COO at Orthopaedic Surgery Center (Youngstown, Ohio): In orthopedics, the obvious question is at your own facility, what’s the return on investment on the technology? Globally, it’s here, and it’s not going anywhere. Younger physicians are being trained on the technology, they see value in it, and they are going to want to use it. Patients are asking about it. Traditionally, I think patients just went to their same surgeon for most all [musculoskeletal] injuries. We are seeing a trend that patients are seeking out surgeons that use robotics for total joint surgery.

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