Point-of-Care Hemoglobin A1c Testing: A Budget Impact Analysis.
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BACKGROUND: The increasing prevalence of diabetes in Ontario means that there will be growing demand for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing to monitor glycemic control as part of managing this chronic disease. Testing HbA1c where patients receive their diabetes care may improve system efficiency if the results from point-of-care HbA1c testing are comparable to those from laboratory HbA1c measurements. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the budget impact of point-of-care HbA1c testing to replace laboratory HbA1c measurement for monitoring glycemic control in patients with diabetes in 2013/2014. REVIEW METHODS: This analysis compared the average testing cost of 3 point-of-care HbA1c devices licensed by Health Canada and available on the market in Canada (Bayer's A1cNow+, Siemens's DCA Vantage, and Bio Rad's In2it), with that of the laboratory HbA1c reference method. The cost difference between point-of-care HbA1c testing and laboratory HbA1c measurement was calculated. Costs and the corresponding range of net impact were estimated in sensitivity analyses. RESULTS: The total annual costs of laboratory HbA1c measurement and point-of-care HbA1c testing for 2013/2014 were $91.5 million and $86.8 million, respectively. Replacing all laboratory HbA1c measurements with point-of-care HbA1c testing would save approximately $4.7 million over the next year. Savings could be realized by the health care system at each level that point-of-care HbA1c testing is substituted for laboratory HbA1c measurement. If physician fees were excluded from the analysis, the health care system would incur a net impact from using point-of-care HbA1c testing instead of laboratory A1c measurement. LIMITATIONS: Point-of-care HbA1c technology is already in use in the Ontario health care system, but the current uptake is unclear. Knowing the adoption rate and market share of point-of-care HbA1c technology would allow for a more accurate estimate of budget impact. CONCLUSIONS: Replacing laboratory HbA1c measurement with point-of-care HbA1c testing or using point-of-care HbA1c testing in combination with laboratory HbA1c measurement to monitor glycemic control in patients with diabetes could have saved the province $1,175,620 to $4,702,481 in 2013/2014.
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