Medicine of the Future in America

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: The Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs Model (CALC) (Part 2)

Record Cost Information
The cost of establishing and operating the testing service should be recorded for each configuration. Actual costs should be verified by referring to invoices. There will be situations wherein the costs of providing testing nearer to the patient are assessed in terms of their impact on central laboratory costs. In some cases, bedside or stat lab testing may actually add to the overall cost of providing testing (to achieve quicker turnaround times), while in other cases there may be central laboratory savings attributable to relocating testing closer to the patient. buy diabetes drugs

To complete Table 1, we have used actual cost information that was collected from several hospitals and averaged to present an example that is not specific to one institution:
(a) Site Preparation Costs: The cost of establishing a laboratory facility includes construction costs as well as preparation costs for electrical or plumbing up grades, computer hook-ups, ventilation contracting, furniture, and sample-transport systems. The cost allocated to each year is generally equivalent to the initial cost divided by the number of years the site will be used. The Internal Revenue Service has the following guidelines:

Estimated Actual Use Life

No. of Depreciation Years

under 5


4 to 10


10 to 16


Relevant site preparation estimates can be obtained by checking with facilities management departments or by obtaining site preparation cost estimates from outside contractors. In Table 1, we assume the site preparation costs for a new stat lab to be $10,000 for renovation and $2,000 for furniture. With a depreciation period of five years, the annualized cost is estimated to be $2,400. No site preparation cost is included for the bedside unit since the instrument can simply be placed on a convenient surface in the intensive care unit.

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