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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 NJR's implant price-benchmarking service comprises a foundation ‘INFORM’ and advanced ‘EMBED’ reporting element. The service 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. 

New for 2017/18:  We are delighted to inform you that for 2017/18 the NJR’s enhanced implant price-benchmarking service EMBED, is included as part of the standard NJR subscription charge for NHS Trusts.  This service offers greater capability to hospital procurement and healthcare management teams to drill down further into their pricing data, including the ability to give surgeons individual reports relating to their own implant use.  

The need to have such dialogue underpins the ‘Getting It Right First Time’ initiative. Moreover, these services remain an important source of evidence for the sustained impetus in the Department of Health’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme. 

The implant price-benchmarking service is for collaborative use by:

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

So far, more than 60 NHS organisations have taken the NJR up on this 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 the available services without delay.

Is this available to independent (private) sector organisations?

Not yet, but work is currently taking place to see how the NJR's implant price-benchmarking service could become available to independent sector organisations. The base service originated from a Department of Health QIPP sponsored pilot programme and as such its has been prioritised for NHS organisations.


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.

We are delighted to inform you that from 2017/18 the NJR’s enhanced implant price-benchmarking service EMBED, is included as part of the standard NJR subscription charge for NHS Trusts.


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

 


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 njr.centre@nhs.net 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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