The economic and clinical limitations in Electrophysiology are a major challenge, and it’s all about the cost per procedure of medical devices.
Many hospitals depend on elective procedures like AFib procedures to offset losses on other service lines. Therefore, procedure profitability is financially critical. However, manufacturers constantly launch new, more expensive technologies in Electrophysiology, driving up the per-procedure costs, often without demonstrable improvement in outcome.
In most AFib procedures hospitals will spend more than $10,500 on medical devices. Almost all devices are designated “single-use” by the manufacturer, so they do not come with cleaning instructions, and the expectation is that the device will be discarded after one use. However, the manufacturer does not need to provide a rationale for why the device should only be used once. Some individual catheters cost more than $4,000.
Hospitals used to clean and re-use these devices to reduce costs. For patient safety reasons, this is no longer possible.