Investing in New Technology in Pulmonary Medicine: Navigating the Tortuous Path to Success
The introduction of new technologies offers the promise to advance medicine. This occurs alongside improved efforts to control costs of health care by hospital administrators, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) pivot to value programs, and commercial payers' efforts to reduce reimbursement. These trends present a challenge for the pulmonologist, among others, who must navigate increasingly complex and highly scrutinized evaluation processes used to secure new technology (NT). Health-care providers are turning toward value assessments while simultaneously tasked with the mission of offering state of the art technologies and services. Pulmonologists desiring NT are thus faced with increased scrutiny in their evaluation of costs and clinical data to support investments. Consideration of this scrutiny and further evidence to temper the evaluation will improve the likelihood of adoption and patient access to clinically impactful technology. The identification of this evidence may provide a comprehensive view of the clinical and economic benefits of such technologies to both administrators and pulmonary clinicians. It is imperative that all parties involved in the decision process work collaboratively to deploy value added and clinically impactful technologies. Although a physician group might invest in such NT, the capital required often leads such decisions to a larger organization such as a hospital, health-care system, or privately owned entity. This article aims to provide a framework for pulmonary clinicians to better understand the processes that purchasers use to evaluate NT, the pressures that influence their consideration, and what resources may be leveraged toward success.