Unleashing the Future of Healthcare: The Role of 3D Printing in Cost Efficiency and Tax Incentives


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The White House has recently announced how healthcare organizations can benefit from various tax and economic incentives [Source: Pixabay]

Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi discuss energy-based Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives as solutions for hospitals amid rising labor costs.

Since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have experienced unprecedented supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. Hospitals are labor-intensive, and their cost of labor has greatly increased. For example, 75,000 Kaiser Permanente union workers who recently went on strike received a 21 percent wage increase over 4 years.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has a myriad of tax incentives for energy-efficient upgrades that hospitals can benefit from to help offset rising labor and supply chain costs.

On October 20, 2023, the White House released a briefing room statement highlighting how tax and other economic benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act could be utilized by healthcare institutions. The remarkable aspect of the announcement by the White House is the emphasis on leveraging the IRA to cut operational costs.

Hospitals typically require constant upkeep and energy resources due to their large size and many departments. This is where the energy-driven tax incentives of the IRA can provide help, particularly in times when labor costs are on the uprise.

A whole slew of new and upgraded energy tax incentives have the potential to aid hospitals in lowering costs while enhancing their facilities and structures’ energy efficiency.

3D printed solar cells could be harnessed for use in the energy industry as well as in hospitals. More information can be found via YouTube.

Hospital energy project designers implementing energy designs can now earn up to US$5.36 per square foot in tax incentives.

Nonprofit and government hospitals can now receive large cash direct payments for implementing qualifying HVAC projects including combined heat and power (CHP) and a myriad of other alternative energy incentives.

Hospitals and 3D Printing

There have been several pieces that we have published on how medtech can benefit from 3D printing technology. In fact, in the healthcare industry, there are multiple ways in which 3D printers can be used to enhance patient care.

Hospital Pharmacies

3D printers are being leveraged to create pills for patients who are grappling with multiple illnesses. These pills are designed with different drug compartments to cut down the number of pills a patient must consume in a day. They also have varied release profiles to improve the effectiveness of drug administration. This approach is being explored by numerous compounding pharmacies.


The field of orthopedics has greatly benefitted from the advancements in 3D printing technology. It is now possible to 3D print replacement parts for the knee, spine, hip, and the ankle. Utilizing 3D printed implants can not only reduce expenses, but also enhance the quality of the implant. Moreover, 3D printing technology can be used to manufacture exoskeletons and prosthetics.

This low-poly geometric composition limb is ultra-efficient in terms of material usage, structural integrity and lightness [Source: Will Root]

There is no shortage of ways in which 3D printing can be applied to the hospital industry, especially at a time when hospitals are looking to implement these technologies but need budget dollars to do so.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

The now permanent Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is available for companies developing new or improved products, processes and/or software.

3D printing carries the potential to increase a firm’s R&D Tax Credits. Salary accrued by technical staff engaged in the creation, assessment, and modification of 3D-printed prototypes can be formed as a fraction of time eligible for the R&D Tax Credit. Likewise, when utilized for improving a process, the time dedicated to incorporating 3D printing equipment and programs is considered as a qualifying activity. Lastly, when employed for modeling and preproduction, expenses generated on filaments during the research phase can be redeemed.

Whether used for generating and evaluating prototypes or for final production, 3D printing signifies that R&D Credit qualifying activities are underway. Firms bringing this technology into play at any stage should mull over capitalizing on R&D Tax Credits.


The tremendous collection of energy-focused tax benefits available in the IRA is nothing short of impressive. Hospitals confronting escalating costs should ponder on exploiting these possibilities. This will allow the healthcare sector to grow and provide superior patient care through the assistance of 3D printing in a more economical manner.

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