U.S. EP Labs Losing $500 Million Each Year Due to Underutilized Reprocessing Programs

New analysis by Innovative Health details missed opportunities in single-use device reprocessing and provides roadmap for bolstering profitability in EP labs

Innovative Health, Inc. released a new economic analysis that revealed today’s electrophysiology (EP) labs are missing out on an estimated $500 million in savings each year due to underutilization of reprocessing in atrial fibrillation (AFib) and other catheter ablation procedures. The analysis, presented in the company’s new whitepaper, “EP Single-Use Device Reprocessing by the Numbers,” notes that fuller implementation of single-use device reprocessing programs could provide the economic infusion into the hospital supply chain needed to help offset recent losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The high costs of single-use devices used in catheter ablation procedures puts severe strain on the economics of an EP lab,” said Innovative Health CEO Rick Ferreira. “Using reprocessed single-use devices in ablation procedures can dramatically reduce the costs of catheter ablation, especially in AFib procedures, where the most expensive devices are used. In fact, U.S. healthcare can reduce device costs in AFib procedures by approximately $728 million per year if single-use device reprocessing is fully utilized. When other catheter ablations are included, total potential savings increase to $773 million. Unfortunately, the average EP lab today only realizes about 35 percent of the reprocessing savings potential, leaving nearly half a billion dollars in savings on the table.”

Additional key findings of Innovative Health’s first-of-its-kind analysis include the following:


  • In 2020, there will be more than 360,000 ablation procedures in the U.S., and more than two-thirds of these (240,000) are AFib procedures.
  • This year, U.S. hospitals will spend more than $2.5 billion on devices used in AFib procedures. That number increases to more than $3.1 billion when including other catheter ablation procedures.
  • Device costs in AFib procedures are approximately $10,500 per procedure. Some of the devices used are very expensive, with ablation catheters (~$3,456), ICE catheters (~$2,650) and mapping catheters (~$1,750) making up 75 percent of procedure device costs.
  • When replacing new mapping catheters and ICE catheters with reprocessed ones, costs are reduced by approximately $2,200 per procedure.
  • Hospitals get paid approximately $20,690 for each AFib procedure. However, device costs are still more than half of the reimbursement amount, which is generally considered unsustainable for any hospital activity. Using reprocessed single-use devices instead of new drives device costs down to approximately 36 percent of reimbursement.


“In 2019, the average U.S. hospital had an operating margin of around 2 percent. According to Modern Healthcare, by March 2020, the average hospital had a year-to-date operating margin of -8 percent,” Ferreira added. “In the current economic climate, single-use device reprocessing must be part of the supply chain strategy, and it’s our hope that this new economic analysis and whitepaper will give hospital administrators the information they need to ensure their reprocessing programs are leveraged for maximum savings.”


Administrators and clinicians can learn more and download the full whitepaper here.

About Innovative Health

Innovative Health is an advanced medical device reprocessing company that offers smarter utilization of medical devices in hospitals’ cardiology and electrophysiology programs.