Demand for endoscopic video systems is expected to grow as new techniques enable even more procedures to be performed in a minimally invasive manner, making the question for today’s hospital not if to purchase a system but how many to purchase.

The market is diverse, sub-divided into gastrointestinal (GI) and surgical markets with a smaller market emerging for endoscopic ultrasound. The GI market has become one of the largest endoscopy segments as a result of increased awareness and screening for colorectal cancer and other GI-related conditions. While surgical scopes have a separate camera head and adapter, allowing them to be used across vendors, GI scopes have a camera head built in, which ties it to a single vendor’s scope. Service contracts are not typically cost effective for electronic equipment, but because video scopes generally have a higher failure rate, service contracts are recommended for them.

On the chart below, lower prices are for the smaller standard definition video systems often used in doctor’s offices while the higher priced systems are for high-definition systems used in operating rooms. To be competitive in today’s environment, many hospitals are offering systems in high definition. Other improvements in this area include digital image capture and 3D visualization. Cost reductions can be found in considering demo units, which vendors typically will provide with a normal one year warranty. Another option for cost savings is to consider previous generation technology depending on the primary surgical application. Ultimately, the right system will depend on size, budget and types of procedures.

Reimbursement rates are based on the type of procedure, but overall have been steadily increasing, but this is tempered by cost of scopes increasing as well at a rate of 2% to 3%. For example reimbursement for a screening colonoscopy (APC 143) in 2011 was $569. This went up to $577 in 2012 and $611 in 2013. Likewise, reimbursement for a Level 1 Laparoscopy (APC 130) surgical procedure was $2,662 in 2011, $2,713 in 2012, and $2,730 in 2013.

Below are price ranges seen for GI and surgical systems as well as full-service contracts for both of these systems.

Endoscopic Surgery Video System

GI Video Purchase Price
Low High Average
$31,072          $104,238.32      $66,030.23      

Surgical Video Purchase Price
Low High Average
$22,181.57     $96,157.25        $55,705.68      

System Service Support Prices
Low High Average
$20,696          $140,000           $66,542.64       

Source: MD Buyline

Please note that these numbers have been adjusted to exclude special deals, outliers, and unique circumstances.

Publication Date: Monday, September 23, 2013