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.
To our knowledge, the laboratory industry has not yet developed a standard accounting format for collecting and recording cost information. Some techniques have been developed to assist in determining test charges by identifying the amount of labor and supplies used to perform each test. One such approach, developed by the College of American Pathology, is the Workload Recording Method (CAP-WLR) that is used to evaluate laboratory productivity. This approach only calculates the time spent performing the test, ignoring other work (paid) hours that are not directly related to actually performing test analyses. buy prednisone