These guidelines are furthermore influential as they will support new billing codes, called CPT codes, for Point-of-Care 3D Printing, which are due to implemented in July this year. These initial CPT codes make it possible to collect more data on the prevalence of 3D printing and for what cases it is used across U.S. hospitals and will ultimately pave the way for further reimbursement initiatives.
Recently, many hospitals have started making a shift, from using medical images primarily for diagnostic purposes, to integrating them in patient-specific surgical planning. This has created enormous advantages for hospitals and their patients, and is largely supported by the expanding role of the radiologist as imaging expert.
2018 was a big year for Point-of-Care 3D printing, with thousands of patients helped and major milestones achieved. We expect this trend to continue in 2019, further increasing access to 3D printing for clinicians and enabling more patients to benefit.
As the metal AM industry grows and 3D printed components become increasingly complex, so does the need to integrate automated processes. It takes a lot of time to create support structures that anchor the part sufficiently and prevent warpage, but which are at the same time easy to remove. Especially parts with a complex geometry need to be prepared very thoroughly as each surface that lacks sufficient support may cause defects in the part or even build crashes.