Cost effectiveness of bedside fetal fibronectin testing varies according to treatment algorithm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine the cost effectiveness of implementing fetal fibronectin testing in women with threatened preterm labor. Methods: We developed a cost analysis model based upon our institution's experience with threatened preterm labor. Model estimates related to fetal fibronectin were obtained from the literature. The model considered hospital admission and assay cost. Results: Approximately 2000 women deliver annually at our tertiary care facility. In the prior 11 months, 340 (19%) presented for threatened preterm labor with 45 (13%) admissions. In a group of individuals with threatened preterm labor and < 3 cm cervical dilatation, approximately 25% can be expected to have a positive fetal fibronectin test. If fetal fibronectin testing were used to influence the decision of admission, 93 (25%) would have a positive test over a 12-month period, potentially increasing admissions by 94%. At a cost of $225 per test, our institution's antepartum admission cost of $1919, a prevalence of threatened preterm labor of 19% and admission rate of 13%, fetal fibronectin testing applied prior to the decision to admit would result in a total cost of $262 583 with 373 assays performed, and 93 admissions. If only those who would have been admitted based on traditional criteria are considered, > 25% should have a positive fetal fibronectin test. If we assume a positive rate of 70%, fetal fibronectin testing employed after the decision to admit would result in a total cost of $75 963, with 48 assays performed and 34 admissions. Without using the assay, total costs are $92 950 for 48 admissions. Conclusion: This cost analysis suggests that fetal fibronectin testing on all patients presenting with threatened preterm labor significantly increases the cost, while fetal fibronectin testing after the decision to admit may reduce the cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-384
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Volume10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cost
  • Fetal fibronectin
  • Preterm labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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