Laboratories face the challenge of providing quality patient care while managing costs and turnaround times (TATs). To this end, we brought the heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) antibody test in-house with the goal of reducing costs and the time to diagnosis.
To determine the cost-effectiveness and return on investment of our in-house HIT antibody test by comparing it to send-out assays with TATs of 2, 3, or 4 days.
We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with a HIT antibody assay and analysis of laboratory financial records. Analysis included the percentage of patients receiving alternative treatment, cost of treatment, startup costs of bringing the test in-house, and average TAT of the in-house test.
We found significant reductions in the cost of treatment for patients and the overall cost to the health care system. The in-house assay became cost-effective at between 8 and 20 tests, with a return on investment of up to 298%.
Bringing the HIT antibody assay in-house becomes cost-effective at a very low test volume with excellent return on investment. This novel analysis can provide a framework for other laboratory medicine professionals to analyze the benefits of bringing this and other assays in-house.
The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.