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Technological Advancements Shift Site-of-Care From the Operating Room to Your Doctor's Office
Date:6/25/2009

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Futurist and world-recognized authority on technology trends in orthopaedics, John A. Engelhardt, concluded the 5th Annual Orthopaedic Manufacturing & Technology Exposition and Conference (OMTEC) by awakening attendees to the opportunity of lowering the cost of care, not the price of technology.

"Simply moving some orthopaedic procedures from the hospital to an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) has reduced costs dramatically," said Mr. Engelhardt. "A major shift away from hospitals and toward surgery centers and doctors' offices could potentially drive $1BB out of Medicare costs and eliminate four million hospital days per year." ASC surgery is reality today, Mr. Engelhardt noted, adding, "ASCs in the U.S. have risen from approximately 270 in 1980 to nearly 5,000 in 2006. And, nearly all orthopaedic procedures have been or could be done on an outpatient basis." Hip and knee joints have been performed on an outpatient basis since mid-decade, and small joints and uni-knees are routine. Mr. Engelhardt continued, "The solutions to lowering the cost of care lie in technology." And, Mr. Engelhardt charged, "You (industry) have the answers to those technology challenges."

Mr. Engelhardt went on to present a handful of orthopaedic companies that are "pushing the envelope" with products and technologies that leverage outpatient procedures to drive out cost of care. He also identified procedures that will most likely be targeted for movement from the hospital, calling out opportunities that will surface from the shift. "The demand for orthopaedic treatment will continue unabated, regardless of the state of the world's economy. The change is in the evolvement of technology to meet that demand in more cost-effective settings outside the operating room."

Mr. Engelhardt delivered the closing keynote address at OMTEC 2009, The 5th Annual Orthopaedic Manufacturing
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SOURCE ORTHOWORLD Inc.
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