Purpose: To examine the budget impact of ultrasound-guided 14-g large core breast biopsy (US-guided LCBB) by comparing the costs of US-guided LCBB and open surgical biopsy (OSB); to calculate the cost savings attributable to US-guided LCBB; and to assess the frequency with which US-guided LCBB obviates the need for an OSB. Materials and methods: In a retrospective study, we reviewed 399 suspicious breast lesions on which US-guided LCBB and OSB or, in cases of benign histology, clinical follow-up, were performed. Cost savings were calculated using nationally allowed flat rates (A-drg) and patient charges. Costs were measured from both, a hospital and a socioeconomic perspective. Deterministic sensitivity analyses were simulated to assess the extent of achievable cost savings. Results: Overall cost savings for US-guided LCBB over OSB were €977 (€2,337/€3,314) per case from a hospital perspective, resulting in a total cost decrease of 30% for the diagnosis of suspicious breast lesions. From a socioeconomic perspective, cost savings were €1,542 (€2,600/€4,142) per case, resulting in a 37% reduction in biopsy cost. US-guided LCBB obviated the need for a surgical procedure in 240 (60%) of 399 women. In all four sensitivity analyses, costs of US-guided LCBB remained lower than that of OSB. Conclusion: From an economic perspective, US-guided LCBB is highly recommended for the diagnosis of suspicious breast lesions, as this procedure reduces the cost of diagnosis substantially. In Austria, annual cost savings would be €18.5 million. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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