The Cost-Effective Laboratory: Implementation of Economic Evaluation of Laboratory Testing
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
Laboratory testing as a part of laboratory in vitro diagnostic (IVD) has become required tool in clinical practice for diagnosing, monitoring and prognosis of diseases, as well as for prediction of treatment response. The number of IVD tests available in laboratory practice has increased over the past decades and is likely to further increase in the future. Consequently, there is growing concern about the overutilization of laboratory tests and rising costs for laboratory testing. It is estimated that IVD accounts for between 1.4 and 2.3% of total healthcare expenditure and less than 5% of total hospital cost (Lewin Group report). These costs are rather low when compared to pharmaceuticals and medical aids which account for 15 and 5%, respectively. On the other hand, IVD tests play an important role in clinical practice, as they influence from 60% to 70% of clinical decision-making. Unfortunately, constant increases in healthcare spending are not directly related to healthcare benefit.... Since healthcare resources are limited, health payers are interested whether the benefits of IVD tests are actually worth their cost. Many articles have introduced frameworks to assess the economic value of IVD tests. The most appropriate tool for quantitative assessment of their economic value is cost-effectiveness (CEA) and cost-utility (CUA) analysis. The both analysis determine cost in terms of effectiveness or utilities (combine quantity and quality of life) of new laboratory test against its alternative. On the other hand, some investigators recommended calculation of laboratory test value as product of two ratios: Laboratory test value = (Technical accuracy/Turnaround time) x Utility/Costs). Recently, some researches used multicriteria decision analysis which allows comparison of diagnostic strategies in terms of benefits, opportunities, costs and risks. All analyses are constructed to identify laboratory test that produce the greatest healthcare benefit with the resources available. Without solid evidence that certain laboratory tests are cost-effective, laboratory services cannot be improved. Consequently, simple policy measures such as cost cutting may be imposed upon many laboratories while patients will have limited access to laboratory service.
Keywords:laboratory tests / cost-effectiveness / cost utility / multicriteria decision analysis
Source:Journal of Medical Biochemistry, 2017, 36, 3, 238-242
- Društvo medicinskih biohemičara Srbije, Beograd i Versita