Robotic Arm-assisted Total Hip Arthroplasty is More Cost-Effective Than Manual Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Markov Model Analysis

Background: Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is the benchmark surgical treatment of advanced and symptomatic hip osteoarthritis. Preliminary evidence suggests that the robotic arm-assisted (RAA) technology yields more accurate and reproducible acetabular cup placement, which may improve survival rate and clinical results, but economic considerations are less well-defined. The purpose of this study was to compare the cost effectiveness of the RAA THA with manual THA (mTHA) modalities, considering direct medical costs and utilities from a payer's perspective.

Methods: A Markov model was constructed to analyze two potential interventions for hip osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disorder: RAA THA and mTHA. Potential outcomes of THA were categorized into the transition states: infection, dislocation, no major complications, or revision. Cumulative costs and utilities were assessed using a cycle length of 1 year over a time horizon of 5 years.

Results: RAA THA cohort was cost effective relative to mTHA cohort for cumulative Medicare and cumulative private payer insurance costs over the 5-year period. RAA THA cost saving had an average differential of $945 for Medicare and $1,810 for private insurance relative to mTHA while generating slightly more utility (0.04 quality-adjusted life year). The preferred treatment was sensitive to the utilities generated by successful RAA THA and mTHA. Microsimulations indicated that RAA THA was cost effective in 99.4% of cases.

Conclusions: In the Medicare and private payer scenarios, RAA THA is more cost effective than conventional mTHA when considering direct medical costs from a payer's perspective.

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