The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


John S. Emberger, Lori Killian; Respiratory Care, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE

BACKGROUND: Disposable patient use items can cause a financial burden on healthcare systems, especially if costs increase due to increased volume of patients or increased disposal of an item multiple times for the same patient. We sought a cost containment program for pulse oximetry in our hospitals. We wanted to examine the value of incorporating a capitated pulse oximetry program for cost containment. METHODS: In 2003 through 2004 a multidisciplinary team was formed to choose a new pulse oximetry platform for our 2 hospitals: 913 bed, level I trauma center, level III NICU teaching hospital and 241 bed community hospital. After clinical and financial evaluations, the multidisciplinary group choose a capitated, reusable pulse oximetry program (Dixtal Novametrix, Wallingford CT). A large education effort took place with Nursing and Respiratory Care to be sure everyone knew that the pulse oximetry sensors were not disposable. After the initial 5 year agreement, we entered a second five year agreement. Capitated pulse oximetry program included: monitoring for 214 ICU Beds, 122 stand-alone devices, large pool of reusable sensors, unconditional warranty and unlimited attachment supplies. Pulse oximetry costs from before capitation through the 2 capitated agreements were analyzed. RESULTS: Previously our system was using $530,670.93 per year in cost of disposable sensors alone, not including repairs and purchase of the pulse oximetry devices. Capitated program reduced pulse oximetry costs by 43% in the first agreement. The cost was reduced by 67% of original costs in the second agreement. Over the first 5 year agreement, cost saving was $1,148,350. In the second five years cost saving will be an additional $1,774,830. See chart for annual costs. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that a large 2 hospital system can provide pulse oximetry with a capitated program yielding large cost savings, fixed yearly costs and reduced items being disposed in the garbage. Sponsored Research - None

Annual Pulse Oximetry Cost: Pre-Capitated Program and During Two Capitated Agreements