The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COST EFFECTIVENESS OF USING LEVABUTEROL VS RACEMIC ALBUTEROL

Larry Lindberg, BS, RRT, Respiratory Care Department, Northside Hospital, Atlanta, GA.

Background:
With the introduction of Levalbuterol (Lev) in our institution we needed to ensure that it would be a cost effective replacement for Racemic Albuterol (Rac).

Method: In an attempt to quantify cost, we utilized our departmental information system to collect and extract data on the number of patients and treatments delivered with Rac vs. Lev from November 1997-October 1999 and November 2000- October 2002 for each group respectively. The data includes both ventilated and non-ventilated patients of all age groups. By collecting a large sample size for each group, we believe they are of similar content with respect to demographics, disease state, and severity. To determine the financial impact of this study, if any, we looked at both labor cost per procedure and drug cost (Average Wholesale Price of 3ml unit dose) for each group. Labor costs were derived using the AARC Respiratory Therapist Human Resources survey-2000 projected mean salary for a Therapist/Technician of $16.66 per hour and a time standard of 13.8 minutes per therapy.

Results: In our Rac group we had 4,780 patients who received 118,905 treatments for an average of 25.0 treatments per patient. In our Lev group we had 4,970 patients who received 56,238 treatments for an average of 11.3 treatments per patient. We realized a reduction on average of 13.7 treatments per patient stay and a 53% reduction in total therapies in the Lev group. We determined a potential cost savings based on this reduction of $156,332 over a two-year period for the Lev group. In addition to the cost benefit, the reduction in number of therapies has aided us in avoiding concurrent therapy despite an increase in the number of patients. As discussed in the AARC White Paper on Concurrent Therapy, this has many potential benefits including JCAHO compliance and reduction in both medical and billing errors.

Conclusion: Based upon these findings, we believe the use of Lev can be considered a cost effective and more efficient alternative to Rac when used according to package insert dosing guidelines.

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