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NJR Implant price-benchmarking

Orthopaedic implants are used in significant volumes on a daily basis throughout the health service, and represent a high spend area with noticeable variation in pricing across organisations. In 2014, the National Joint Registry launched its implant price-benchmarking service to the NHS to help procurement teams and healthcare management understand in greater detail the pricing of hip and knee replacement implants in comparison to others.

The service is for collaborative use by:

  • Procurement teams
  • Finance teams
  • Healthcare service management teams
  • Individual surgeons and orthopaedic departments

Supported by the Department of Health’s QIPP programme, the service comprises a foundation ‘INFORM’ and advanced ‘EMBED’ reporting element. It gives Trusts, Local Health Boards and providers the unique opportunity to benchmark the price they pay for orthopaedic implants against the ‘best’ national prices achieved.

So far, more than 60 NHS organisations have taken the NJR up on this new service and many are using both the foundation reports and advanced reporting tools. As the number of hospitals taking the NJR up on the opportunity to investigate their benchmarked pricing data increases, the richness of the information available to all hospitals will grow. The NJR would encourage all NHS providers to access at least the foundation INFORM service without delay.

Why use the base INFORM price-benchmarking service?

This first set of tools allows procurement and management teams to benchmark against average and best quartile prices from the organisations currently providing data as well as features that allow the data to be presented by brand and by surgeon use.

The base implant price-benchmarking service is free to Trusts and Local Health Boards and is included in the cost of the NJR subscription. See 'Accessing INFORM and EMBED' at the bottom of the page.

Why use the enhanced EMBED implant price-benchmarking service?

The enhanced implant price-benchmarking service, known as EMBED, delivers greater capability to procurement and healthcare management teams to drill down further into their pricing data. This includes the ability to give surgeons individual reports relating to their own implant use.

It also provides the opportunity to look at some fast-developing, experimental views of pricing data associated with clinical outcomes data. This area will be developed, following feedback from hospitals, and will be an essential tool as providers look to make efficiency and cost savings without compromising on the quality of joint replacement surgery afforded to patients.

It is available to all NHS providers for an additional charge of £5,000 per year.

How much could hospitals identify in the way of savings? What are the benefits?

The award winning pilot scheme, on which the service is based, demonstrated that savings could range from £50,000 per year to upwards of £200,000. Other key benefits include:

 For procurement
For service managers
Independent view of pricing competitiveness Target of 'Cost Improvement Programme'
Develop targeted plans for savings Transparency to challenge costly preferences
Spotlight ‘loss-leading’ components Build evidence
Clarify value-for-money
Inform discussion with surgeons
Inform discussion with surgeons
 
For finance managers
 For surgeons
Support planning
Cost transparency
 
Target of ‘Cost Improvement Programme’
Clinical preference
 
Inform funding for complex procedures
Assess practice against guidance
 
Assess high-cost clinical choices
Combine cost with clinical information
Inform effective team-working
Common language for discussion


Is this available to independent (private) sector organisations?

Yes, the implant price-benchmarking service is available to independent sector organisations. The base service originated from a Department of Health QIPP sponsored pilot programme and as such its use is prioritised for NHS organisations.

Accessing INFORM and EMBED

Accessing both the INFORM and EMBED implant price-benchmarking services are dependent on the payment of the annual NJR subscription and any other additional charges that may apply (dependent on NHS or Independent sector status). 

Please email enquiries@njrcentre.org.uk to arrange for access and to find out who has been contacted in your hospital about the implant price-benchmarking scheme or who the current authorised user of the service is.

  
  
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