What most of the general public does not know, is that there are specific reps that stand in on surgeries such as hip and knee replacement procedures in order to assist the surgeon. No one knows the implants and instruments better than the rep who sells them. The problem is that hospitals are in the midst of a giant push to reduce costs, especially in the OR. Because the reps work for their manufacturers, not the hospitals, the relationship between vendor and hospital tends to be a complicated one. Some hospitals have decided to take this into their own hands.
In order to reduce OR costs some facilities are looking to adopt a “rep-less model.” This means that the hospital itself trains its staff on the implants and instruments instead of having sales reps in their OR. For example, Loma Linda is one of the first facilities to fully exercise this model, and have found a 50% markdown on the price of implants as well as many other cost savings. In addition, a large medical distributor, Smith &Nephew, has also decided to roll out their own version of the “rep-less model,” Syncera. Through Syncera, they were able to cut costs by a 30% discount. Smith & Nephew believes that the rep-less model can coexist with the traditional model.