FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The cost per colonoscopy, including purchase, maintenance, and reprocessing costs, varies from $188.64 to $501.16, with higher costs at low-volume centers, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Gut.

Noting that disposable colonoscopes are entering the market and may play a role in infection prevention and be cost-effective in some settings, Sara Larsen, from Aalborg University in Denmark, and colleagues used a micro-costing approach to examine the costs associated with reusable colonoscopes, including maintenance and reprocessing.

The researchers found that including purchase, maintenance, and reprocessing, the cost per colonoscopy using reusable colonoscopes varied from $188.64 at high-volume centers with more than 3,000 annual procedures to $501.16 at low-volume centers with 1,000 annual procedures. The per-procedure capital costs varied from $87.48 to $262.45; costs of repair varied from $68.77 to $206.32; costs of cleaning supplies and labor were $32.39; and additional costs per procedure for infections requiring hospitalization ranged from $20.12 to $46.52.

“The cost of reusable colonoscopes is highly dependent on the settings at each facility and especially the number of colonoscopes and annual volume of procedures,” the authors write. “The true impact of disposable colonoscopes on infection and complication rates, cost-effectiveness, and functionality for more difficult therapeutic procedures will remain unknown until they are widely available.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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