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Switching to Single-use Flexible Ureteroscopes for Stones Management: Financial Impact and Solutions to Reduce the Cost Over a 5-Year Period

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To assess the financial impact of switching to single-use ureteroscopes (sURS) in urolithiasis management for a hospital, over a 5-year period, and to identify possible solutions to contain or reduce it.

      Methods

      A Budget Impact (BI) model was designed for a public hospital performing around 200 ureteroscopies or extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsies per year. The BI was estimated as the difference between financial balances (between costs and revenues) of 2 environments (with and without sURS). The population was defined as adults treated for urolithiasis. The BI model was based on assumptions about the expected progression in the incidence of urolithiasis, and the expected change in clinical practices due to the availability of sURS. We considered the costs and revenues of hospital stays, the purchase price of sURS and the costs of digital or fiberoptic reusable ureteroscopes (rURS). Univariate and multivariate sensitivity analyses were performed.

      Results

      The cumulative 5-year financial impact of switching completely to sURS was €807,824 and €649,677 in comparison with fiberoptic and digital rURS respectively. This impact could be reduced by half or more if the health-care facility were to adopt different solutions, including negotiating the purchase price of sURS, developing outpatient activity and reducing production costs for ureteroscopy procedures.

      Conclusion

      The BI model gives decision-makers a more accurate picture of the financial impact of switching to sURS and highlights ways to reduce the expected additional cost.
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