A performance and theoretical cost analysis of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration in a UK tertiary respiratory centre

ARL Medford, S Agrawal, CM Free, JA Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: New innovative techniques can improve patient care but may not be appropriately funded. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS) offers a minimally invasive mediastinal staging and diagnostic method for suspected lung cancer. AIM: We report the performance and cost analysis of a newly established EBUS service in a prospective real world cohort of patients to assess the impact of Payment by Results (PbR). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Fifty-four patients between June 2008 and April 2009 underwent EBUS for evaluation of unexplained mediastinal lymphadenopathy on CT. Cost analysis was performed from local Trust financial data and 2008-09 tariffs. RESULTS: EBUS had an 89% sensitivity, 75% negative predictive value and 92% accuracy for malignancy. EBUS coding was inaccurate in 15.6% of cases. The actual cost of an EBUS is 1252-1433 pounds but is coded as a standard bronchoscopy (561 pounds). EBUS reduces health community costs by 107824 pounds/year, as a result of a Primary Care Trust cost saving of 113968 pounds/year and a Trust cost deficit of 6144 pounds/year. Coding inaccuracies further alter the Primary Care Trust costs. CONCLUSION: Medical innovation is fundamental to improved patient care. EBUS can potentially reduce morbidity for lung cancer patients and save health community costs. However, with PbR the service provider delivers this at a loss as the tariffs do not reflect innovation and because of coding inaccuracies. We suggest tariffs for innovative procedures need to reflect the true cost.
Translated title of the contributionA performance and theoretical cost analysis of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration in a UK tertiary respiratory centre
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859 - 864
JournalQJM
Volume102(12)
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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