Original Article| Volume 37, ISSUE 4, P1271-1276, April 2021

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A Preferred Vendor Model Reduces the Costs of Sports Medicine Surgery

Published:November 26, 2020DOI:


      To report on our institution’s first year of experience with a preferred vendor program for implants and disposables for sports medicine surgery.


      Cost and utilization data for implants and disposables were analyzed for knee and shoulder sports medicine surgeries performed during the 2-year period including the 12 months preceding the start of the contract (contract year 0 [CY0] and the first 12 months of the contract period (CY1). The costs of grafts and biological therapies were excluded. Utilization of the preferred vendor’s products, operative time, and per-case costs were compared between the 2 time periods and adjusted for patient factors and case mix.


      Utilization of the preferred vendor’s shavers (0% to 94%, P < .001) and radiofrequency ablation wands (0% to 91%, P < .001) increased significantly in CY1 (n = 5,068 cases) compared with CY0 (n = 5,409 cases), with a small but significant increase in use of the preferred vendor’s implants (64% to 67%, P = .023). There was no significant difference in mean operative time between CY0 and CY1 (P = .485). Mean total per-case implant and disposable costs decreased by 12% (P < .001) in CY1 versus CY0.


      Our institution was able to reduce the costs of sports medicine surgery with the implementation of a preferred single-vendor program for implants and disposables. This program had widespread surgeon adoption and did not have any detrimental effect on operating room efficiency.

      Level of Evidence

      III, retrospective comparative study
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