, Volume 119, Issue 4, pp 283-289
Date: 26 Nov 2013

PET–CT in oncological patients: analysis of informal care costs in cost–benefit assessment

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Abstract

Purpose

The authors analysed the impact of nonmedical costs (travel, loss of productivity) in an economic analysis of PET–CT (positron-emission tomography–computed tomography) performed with standard contrast-enhanced CT protocols (CECT).

Materials and methods

From October to November 2009, a total of 100 patients referred to our institute were administered a questionnaire to evaluate the nonmedical costs of PET–CT. In addition, the medical costs (equipment maintenance and depreciation, consumables and staff) related to PET–CT performed with CECT and PET–CT with low-dose nonenhanced CT and separate CECT were also estimated.

Results

The medical costs were 919.3 euro for PET–CT with separate CECT, and 801.3 euro for PET–CT with CECT. Therefore, savings of approximately 13 % are possible. Moreover, savings in nonmedical costs can be achieved by reducing the number of hospital visits required by patients undergoing diagnostic imaging.

Conclusions

Nonmedical costs heavily affect patients’ finances as well as having an indirect impact on national health expenditure. Our results show that PET–CT performed with standard dose CECT in a single session provides benefits in terms of both medical and nonmedical costs.