Medicine of the Future in America

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
Another approach, the Instrument Cost Accounting Technique (ICAT), is a more comprehensive method for analyzing the cost of using a testing system over a defined period of time. All expenses required for operating the system over the defined time period are divided by the number of tests processed during that period. A drawback to the ICAT approach is the need to perform detailed time analyses to determine labor costs. Not only can these time studies be tedious, but their results may be inaccurate since the time of each labor component will vary with the productivity of the individuals being timed.


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