SRMC Reaches Agreement on Elective Hip and Knee Implants

This year, as part of a broader effort to attain financial solvency, Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC) suspended non-emergency knee and hip implant procedures. The increased cost of implants coupled with decreased reimbursements played a major role in the decision to temporarily discontinue these non-emergency orthopedic implant procedures.
However, after months of negotiations, the team at SRMC has successfully reached an agreement that will allow them to obtain a limited supply of implants at a lower cost.
“When we made the decision to temporarily discontinue elective implants, it was not done lightly. We recognize there is significant need in our community for hip and knee implant procedures.” said hospital CEO Bernard Wheatley. “Our team made a commitment at that time to find a solution to the implant problem. I am pleased to announce we are able to once again offer these services.”
Charles Nickerson, Senior VP of Operations at SRMC explains “Although the supplies we are receiving are limited, the numbers allow us to resume these procedures. Our successful negotiation of better prices was key to being able to reinstate services. Our medical center continues to struggle financially and our team continues to seek out ways to overcome these financial challenges while still providing high quality health care to the people of the Virgin Islands.”
Funding and maintaining elective surgical implant programs is a problem nationwide. The difficulty lies in the high cost of procuring hip and knee devices coupled with low reimbursements that do not cover the costs. As an example, a knee implant may cost $8,000 and the hospital may be reimbursed $0 for the device. Overall, the hospital may lose approximately $10,000 per case.
“The high cost of implants is a problem faced by many hospitals; however, our team will continue to work with implant providers to obtain the best possible pricing for hip and knee implants.” said CEO Bernard Wheatley.

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