Three-year analysis of value and utilization after development of an ultrasound-based orthopedic injection clinic

Chase Dukes, Thomas Melton, Eric Turner, Andrew Jackson, Jason Grassbaugh, John Slevin, Edward D. Arrington, Josef K. Eichinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sonography is an effective method of diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, and the use of ultrasound has been shown to improve the accuracy, safety, and efficacy of both therapeutic and diagnostic injections. In 2012, we established an injection clinic at our institution to address our growing need for diagnostic and therapeutic injections. Methods: We performed an analysis of value and utilization following the development of an orthopedic injection clinic. This included an evaluation of the cost of materials, equipment, and training required to develop and run the clinic, and an analysis of the services rendered and relative value units (RVUs) generated over 3 fiscal years (FYs). Results: The cost to develop the clinic was $42,498.30. The cost to run the clinic thereafter was $16.90 to $21.60 per injection. By the end of FY 2012, 60% of providers performed at least 1 injection under ultrasound guidance. Every successive year thereafter, 100% of providers were using ultrasound guidance. In FY 2012, we performed 738 injections, 5.4% used ultrasound guidance and generated a total of 1,786.36 RVUs. In FY 2013, we performed 1,814 injections, 17.6% used ultrasound guidance, and generated a total of 7,224.5 RVUs. In FY 2014, we performed 2,821 injections, 25.2% used ultrasound guidance, and generated 13,786.82 RVUs. RVUs generated solely from ultrasound guided injections were 463.2 (2012), 3,694 (2013), 8,221.8 (2014). Injection accuracy was at least 98%. Average time until injection was 0 days. Conclusion: The cost to start an injection clinic is modest, with the potential for large annual growth and early return on investment, and can generate significant revenue by recapturing RVUs that would otherwise be lost to outside referrals. Furthermore, it helps to increase clinic throughput, maximize services rendered during a single patient visit improving the overall quality of their encounter, expands the clinical practice of our midlevel providers, offloads clinical time for surgical providers, and can help expedite clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1965-e1968
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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