The delivery of coronary artery stents is a procedure that affects more than 1 million patients each year in the United States. With an aging population, the declining cost of stents and reimbursement tracking with the consumer price index (2 to 4 percent margins), the market for stenting continues to grow. Coronary artery stenting has seen its share of evolution through the years, starting with bare metal stent (BMS) technology with its evolving structural designs and metal alloys to the drug eluting stents (DES) which were developed to combat the restenosis issues of the BMS.

Pricing for both BMS and DES are listed below. Lately we’ve been seeing a downward trend in terms of cost. The original BMSs were priced at $1,595, and DES prices were set at sky high price of over $3,000. With the stiff competition being spread over three main vendors, prices have seen a sharp drop to as low as $450 for BMSs and $1,200 for DESs.

In the outpatient setting, stent reimbursement for BMSs will see a small increase of approximately 4 percent, while DESs will remain stable for 2014. In the inpatient setting, reimbursement will see a small, negligible increase for 2014. Against that backdrop, purchasers need to know how to get the best price on these critical items. Lower prices are often achievable by introducing competitive bids and obtaining and negotiating based on an external analysis. Additional savings may require some creativity by agreeing to market-share commitments, and/or agreeing to bulk purchases. Rebates have been offered in multiple ways, but these can be very complex and require a significant number of hours to ensure compliance.

Bare Metal Stents

Low High Average Price  
$450             $1,100            $681

Drug-Eluting Stents

Low High Average Price   
$1,200          $2,225           $1,469

Source: MD Buyline

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


Publication Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014