IMPACT Study Found a 25% Reduction in Total Healthcare Costs Associated with Earlier Prosthetic Care

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

Results suggest that delaying or not providing a prosthesis increases direct healthcare costs by approximately 25 percent over the initial 12 months post-amputation. Further, earlier receipt of a prosthesis was associated with reduced direct healthcare spending in the same time period of approximately $25,000. The clinical research was peer-reviewed and published in a Medline indexed journal, the respected 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,” stated James Campbell, Ph.D., Hanger Chief Clinical Officer.

Researchers in the clinical and scientific affairs department of Hanger Clinic, including Shane R. Wurdeman, Ph.D., 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 the timing of prosthesis receipt as well as a control group with no prosthesis. Results showed receipt of a prosthesis within three months post-lower limb amputation yielded a reduced total cost by approximately 25 percent within 12 months following amputation when compared to the no-prosthesis group. Additionally, individuals who still received a prosthesis within nine months post-amputation incurred costs similar to the no-prosthesis group despite the included costs of a prosthesis.

“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,” stated Hanger President and Chief Executive Officer Vinit Asar. “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.”

The IMPACT study is an initial manuscript based on a review of the Watson data, with additional work to follow. The results of the study are set to be published in an upcoming hardcopy print edition American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and are available via early release online here. The IMPACT series is part of a vast collection of landmark research studies already published, or in various stages of publication by Hanger Clinic’s Clinical and Scientific Affairs Department, in collaboration with leading researchers, clinical, and academic institutions. Additional information on previously published research can be found here.

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