Researchers from Arizona State University claim they have an idea to reduce the cost of hip and knee replacement surgeries before the price tag sky rockets out of reach.
Professor Eugene Schneller suggests the simple act of hospitals sharing information with each other could go a long way in reducing some of the most expensive operations in the country, ASUwebdevil.com reports.
By creating a national network, hospitals can cost-control the procedures and possibly create a regimented system that could save patients money.
Through his research, Schneller told the news provider that hip and knee surgeries cost U.S.
hospitals approximately $11 billion in 2004. By 2030, he expects the number to be as high as $50 billion.
One of the problems with the current system, according to Schneller, is that hospitals in the U.S. don't communicate with each other about the cost of surgieres, which may cause one to pay twice as much as another.
Schneller added costs are also driven up by surgeons opting for more expensive medical devices for the operation.
A total of 234,625 total knee replacement procedures were done in 2005, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The mean cost of the surgery was $35,000.