The large, international, randomized controlled NeoPInS trial showed that procalcitonin (PCT)-guided decision making was superior to standard care in reducing the duration of antibiotic therapy and hospitalization in neonates suspected of early-onset sepsis (EOS), without increased adverse events. This study aimed to perform a cost-minimization study of the NeoPInS trial, comparing health care costs of standard care and PCT-guided decision making based on the NeoPInS algorithm, and to analyze subgroups based on country, risk category and gestational age.
Data from the NeoPInS trial in neonates born after 34 weeks of gestational age with suspected EOS in the first 72 h of life requiring antibiotic therapy were used. We performed a cost-minimization study of health care costs, comparing standard care to PCT-guided decision making.
In total, 1489 neonates were included in the study, of which 754 were treated according to PCT-guided decision making and 735 received standard care. Mean health care costs of PCT-guided decision making were not significantly different from costs of standard care (€3649 vs. €3616). Considering subgroups, we found a significant reduction in health care costs of PCT-guided decision making for risk category ‘infection unlikely’ and for gestational age ≥ 37 weeks in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, and for gestational age < 37 weeks in the Czech Republic.
Health care costs of PCT-guided decision making of term and late-preterm neonates with suspected EOS are not significantly different from costs of standard care. Significant cost reduction was found for risk category ‘infection unlikely,’ and is affected by both the price of PCT-testing and (prolonged) hospitalization due to SAEs.