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Research Letter
August 28, 2018

Estimation of the Acquisition and Operating Costs for Robotic Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA. 2018;320(8):835-836. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9219

Despite evidence questioning the clinical benefit,1 the use of the robotic platform for surgical procedures is increasing.2 No benchmark exists for the cost of acquiring and operating robotic systems, and previous cost evaluations have either omitted key expenses1 or utilized billing records that do not itemize costs with sufficient granularity.2 Because 1 company supplies most robotic technology, and all their revenue comes from system, service, and instrument sales, the minimum cost to hospitals can be estimated by examining the revenue in this company’s financial statements. Establishing a cost benchmark can inform future cost-effectiveness evaluations.