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Category Archives: Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives - Part 2

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: Analyzing Laboratory Costs (Part 2)

Although this method can help in setting test charges, it is not useful for analyzing the financial impact of alternative laboratory configurations because it does not account for many of the variable expenses such as labor costs for collecting specimens and documenting results; supplies used for collecting specimens and repeating tests; and nonproductive time involving administrative activities, meetings, vacations, illnesses, and holidays. One study found that 38 percent of consumable costs and 57 percent of labor costs were not a direct component of the routine analysis function; therefore they would not be accounted for by most cost-per-test techniques. buy ortho tri-cyclen online Continue reading

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: Analyzing Laboratory Costs (Part 1)

The cost of providing testing includes a variety of different expenses that vary with each laboratory testing configuration. Some expenses are fixed and continue as long as a configuration is in place. If testing is done in a stat lab, for example, the cost of salaries, equipment, utilities, and other overhead expenses continue regardless of the number of tests performed. Other expenses, such as test-specific supplies, correlate directly with the number of samples processed. These expenses are variable and are subject to management aimed at increasing cost-effectiveness. Continue reading

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs (Part 2)

Higher Standard of Care Demands—Clinicians expect laboratories to quickly deliver reliable results to help them make immediate patient management decisions. The American Heart Association and the Emergency Care Research Institute recommend, for example, that blood gas and electrolyte results in open heart surgery be available within five minutes. The expected required turnaround time for these same tests in other critical care settings varies, but it is generally in the range of five to 15 minutes. These standards are not currently met by most medical centers. Shortage of Laboratory Personnel—Recent surveys indicate that more than 80 percent of laboratories have encountered a shortage of technical personnel. To make matters worse, 40 percent of the accredited medical technology training programs have closed since 1983. ventolin inhalers Continue reading

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs (Part 1)

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs (Part 1)Until 1984, when the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) was passed, hospitals and their clinical laboratories were fully reimbursed for nearly all test analyses that were performed. The DRA established a Medicare system that indirectly pays for laboratory tests as part of a total-care reimbursement fee based on the diagnosis-related group (DRG) that classifies the patients clinical condition. Under this system, a hospital makes money if its actual patient care costs are less than the DRG reimbursement, or it loses money if its costs exceed the predefined DRG level. Two-thirds of health care reimbursements are now paid by Medicare or similar prospective payment programs. ventolin inhaler Continue reading

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