Hospitals are experiencing fewer cancelations and staffing levels have improved since the first half of 2022, which “bodes well for medtech in general,” according to a survey by Evercore ISI.
Procedure volumes, which have increased so far in 2022, were consistent with the second quarter, the poll of 25 hospitals found. Almost a quarter of respondents said cancelation rates had improved, which “should be a positive” for orthopedics companies like Zimmer Biomet and Stryker, the analysts wrote.
The hospitals also said they had experienced an improvement in labor shortages since the first half of the year, which have lingered since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, more hospitals plan to trim their capital spending next year, a concern that surgical robotics companies called out last quarter. About 70% of hospitals surveyed said inflation and cost pressures have worsened, and as a result 32% expect their 2023 budgets to decline. The main priorities for capital spending were upgrading outpatient OR suites and buying surgical and ICU beds, while spending on soft tissue and orthopedic robotics were lower on the priority list for 2023.
Looking to diagnostics, about half of the hospitals said they expect to use point-of-care PCR tests for COVID-19 next year, which is good news for companies like Danaher, the analysts said. A smaller portion, about 32%, plan to use central lab PCR tests.
The survey results follow comments made by some medtech companies to RBC Capital Markets analysts earlier this month that staffing woes and inflationary pressure have been easing.