Did you know that while chemistry previously ruled the lab, today immunoassay is equally important and blended systems represent the largest capital outlay for the laboratory?

System prices for chemistry immunoassays depend heavily on the focus of the laboratory and the type of back-up instrument used. Laboratories that lean more heavily toward immunoassays can expect a higher price tag than those with more of a chemistry focus. For some smaller laboratories, it may be practical to exclude immunoassay altogether and only offer kit-based tests, while outsourcing the remaining tests to a reference laboratory.

Hospitals with high volumes that invest in a mirror image back-up can expect their capital costs to double. However, with the cost increase comes a higher level of service and a minimized risk of downtime. Utilizing hand-held systems or a reference laboratory as back-up can decrease costs but may result in a lower level of service in a downtime situation. Little or no back-up is the cheapest route but also risky, as prolonged downtimes can decimate a laboratory’s reputation and may cause physician dissatisfaction. In many cases, the choice of back-up instrumentation is almost more critical than the brand of chemistry immunoassay analyzer.

Providers can expect a large price increase for pre- and post-analytical automation, normally upwards of $1 million to $2 million, but automation can decrease operating costs and the need for highly skilled laboratory personnel. As the field shifts away from medical technologists toward more onsite service laboratory personnel, we will see automation and knowledge-based software continue to dramatically reshape the chemistry immunoassay analyzer market.

There have been no recent changes in reimbursement for these systems. Reagent recalls are fairly commonplace and considered part of the territory. FDA recalls affecting critical tests have caused major problems for vendors, and sooner or later FDA recalls seem to hit all chemistry immunoassay analyzers in some capacity. 

Chemistry Immunoassay Analyzer

System Purchase Prices
Low High Average
$207,000   $325,000   $250,000  

 System Service Support Prices 
Low High Average
$19,000 $35,000 $26,000

Source: MD Buyline

 

Please note these numbers have been adjusted to exclude special deals, outliers, and unique circumstances.

 

Publication Date: Friday, November 01, 2013