Reassessing the Value of Minimally Invasive Technologies in the Era of COVID-19

Darius Lakdawalla of the University of Southern California analyzes why the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to rethink the use of minimally invasive technologies.

The emergence of COVID-19 threatens to strain U.S. healthcare resources for the foreseeable future. In a white paper, Darius Lakdawalla, of the University of Southern California, and his coauthors discuss the use of minimally invasive technologies as a means to reduce burdens on providers and hospitals, and also shield patients from unnecessary exposure to infection.

Key takeaways include:

  • Minimally invasive technologies are capacity-conserving technologies that could reduce burdens on healthcare providers and hospitals while also shielding patients from unnecessary in-hospital exposure to pathogens.
  • Current payment systems that encourage bed volume and labor-intensive procedures make capacity-conserving alternatives less attractive.
  • Better policies would support greater investment in minimally invasive technologies and a more holistic notion of value.

This paper was originally published by the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics in March 2021.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors, who are responsible for the content, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.