This observational study compared historical costs for provision of socket prostheses with simulated costs for bone-anchored prostheses (BAPs).
The costs of transfemoral socket prostheses and BAP were extracted from the Queensland Artificial Limb Service's regulatory documentation according to K-levels and estimated for low-cost, budget, and high-cost limb options. Total costs including labor and parts after 6-year funding cycles were cross-compared for each socket and BAP fitting option.
Labor and attachment costs were reduced by 18% and 79%, respectively, for all BAP options compared with any socket fitting. BAP was more economical by $18,200, $7,000, and $1,600 when fitted with low-cost, budget, and high-cost options, respectively, compared with sockets for K4. The low-cost limb was the only economical option compared with all sockets above K2. Other BAP options were uneconomical compared with socket fitting below K4.
Suppliers of conventional prosthetic components can strongly impact the overall costs. Interestingly, manufacturers of BAP could play a decisive role given the cost of specific parts (e.g., connectors, protective devices).
The proposed approach for cost assessments could assist funding organizations worldwide working toward the development of fair and equitable financial assistance programs for individuals choosing BAP.
LAURENT FROSSARD, PhD, is affiliated with the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD, Australia.
DEBRA BERG, is affiliated with the Queensland Artificial Limb Service, QLD, Australia.
GREGORY MERLO, PhD, is affiliated with the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and the Australian Centre for Health Services and Innovation, QLD, Australia.
TANYA QUINCEY, is affiliated with the Queensland Artificial Limb Service, QLD, Australia.
BRENDAN BURKETT, PhD, is affiliated with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD, Australia.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Correspondence to: Laurent Frossard, PhD, PO Box 153, Red Hill, 4059, QLD, Australia; email: firstname.lastname@example.org