Broadlawns Reports Cost Savings Through Reduction in Diabetes-related Amputations
Des Moines, November 13, 2008 – The Amputation Prevention Center at Broadlawns Medical Center showed a 72 percent reduction in diabetes-related amputations at Broadlawns during its first year of operation, representing a savings of more than 60 percent in health care costs.
“More than $30 billion was spent on diabetic foot ulcers and amputations in the United States in 2007. We estimate that two-thirds of that amount, roughly $21 billion, could have been saved through simple measures aimed at preventing limb loss,” said Lee C. Rogers, D.P.M., director of the Amputation Prevention Center at Broadlawns Medical Center. “Our HiLo ratio, a measure of success in preventing limb loss, was 25 times below the national average.”
November is American Diabetes Month and Friday, November 14 is recognized as “World Diabetes Day.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 150,000 Iowans suffer from diabetes, nearly 19,000 of whom will face a potential loss of limb situation during their lifetime.
"Based on studies of the World Health Organization, we believe that up to 85 percent of amputations are preventable,” said Denise Mandi, D.P.M., section chief of podiatry at Broadlawns Medical Center. “The providers at the Broadlawns Amputation Prevention Center are leading the way in research and clinical expertise when it comes to preventing amputations in people with diabetes.”
Currently Broadlawns is conducting research with shockwave therapy for diabetic foot ulcers and a new antibiotic for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a deadly bacteria that commonly affects those with diabetic foot infections. Broadlawns is one of only 10 sites worldwide that are allowed to use this new drug.
“What’s exciting about this study is that we showed that amputation prevention is not solely dependent on state-of-the-art, expensive equipment,” Lee added. “Much of our success is due to better organization and communication between doctors, especially podiatrists and vascular surgeons.”
Foot ulcers, limb infections, and gangrene are the most common conditions that lead to amputation in those with diabetes. Rogers emphasized that Broadlawns’ success is attributed to aggressive management of those conditions.
The podiatrists at the Broadlawns center have authored nearly 30 publications in medical journals and books since the opening of the center 18 months ago, including a paper published in the March/April 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association on the costs of diabetic foot ulcers and amputations in the United States. Rogers, along with fellow Broadlawns podiatrist Nicholas Bevilacqua, D.P.M., have also submitted for publication data supporting the reduction in amputations at the Broadlawns center.
With a history that reaches back to 1903 as a community health center, Broadlawns Medical Center first opened its doors as a hospital to the residents of Polk County on April 13, 1924. Over the years, Broadlawns has adapted to the changing demands of public health care, yet remained true to its mission of offering quality health services to all Polk County residents and training tomorrow’s health care professionals.
Today, Broadlawns Medical Center is composed of:
- An acute care community hospital serving medical, surgical, mental health and primary care needs.
- A 60-member physician practice overseeing numerous specialty clinics and outpatient services. Advanced medical clinics in foot and ankle surgery and amputation prevention.
- A Family Medicine Residency Program that graduates physician leaders who today serve throughout Iowa and across the country.
View Downable PDF