It is not surprising to know that the
Point of Care testing has a potentially positive impact on patient care and support. But there is a strong debate from the experts stating that the benefits are more than just patient care. From the general refute of POC testing to indisputable support of the technology, every patient is actively engaged with accurate data, positive clinical impacts, and, importantly, the costs.
The accuracy of POC testing is the same as the regulation of the laboratory and analysis for the approval of authorities. But the clinical impact of POC testing has shown a setting and implementation of the technology for maximum benefits with inheriting changes. Here is some of the importance of the impact in regards to the costing.
Comparing POC Testing Costs
Interestingly, the common costing aspects seem to be relatively adequate when it comes to the implementation. In the context, the laboratory charges contribute to the total cost per patient, which is an estimation of 3% to 6%. The impact of patient care in the current protocol, however, is considered as the secondary costing, which will be increasing the laboratory analysis. Therefore the cost of the laboratory analysis are categorized as
- Direct costing
- Indirect costing and
- Secondary cost
But when compared to the POC testing, the direct and the indirect costing is the most important aspect. While the secondary cost depends on the clinical decisions taken, this is truly based on the analysis, therapy, and importantly accuracy and reliability of the results obtained.
The direct cost for POC testing and analysis can be compared to the cost of the usual laboratory analysis. Depending on the local standard and setting, the cost of the laboratory is charged considering the staffing, cost of the machines, and the chemical reagents used. Also, if the laboratory is being outsourced to another hospital, then the cost will be more than usual. It is mainly because of transport. You can easily compare them with larger and small hospitals and
find that there is a massive difference. Also, you can find that the smaller units are usually benefited by saving indirect costs.
The indirect laboratory costs are usually the analysis and delay in time-related to results, diagnosis, and therapy. This will also, in turn, contribute to the outcomes of patients, need for transport, and also for the unnecessary admissions because of the external target limitations. The costs are higher than the direct cost analysis. Here the need for staffing is more for the emergency departments and overcrowding situations etc.
Saving through the Implementation of POC
Can POC save money? It depends on the perspective of organization. However, it is proven to be cost-effective when compared to the labs. Labor is the major expense that can be understood in the above statements of direct and indirect costing. The relative cost of POCT is less. However, the quality of the process is never compromised, and it is tailored for each patient. Many insurance companies also claim that the billed amount for the POCT is less than any central laboratory testing.