Rationale, aims and objectives: Numerous scientific publications have confirmed that percutaneous laser thermal ablation (LTA) represents a possible therapeutic option in selected patients with benign thyroid nodules. A study was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of adopting the LTA technique to treat benign thyroid nodules in a teaching and research hospital in northern Italy. Methods: Acost analysis from a company's perspective determined the impact of adoption of the new technique on the overall Hospital budget, considering currently available equipment, infrastructure and personnel, equipment costs and treatment tariffs. Results: The cost analysis shows that, strictly from an economic point of view, any provision of the LTA technique will result as a loss on the Hospital's balance sheet. However, it does not estimate the extent of the impact on the overall budget because it did not evaluate the savings that such a technique would make with respect to alternative therapeutic treatments. Therefore, the Hospital policy management decided to extend the current agreement with a private authorized health care structure that already carries out LTA. Also, although difficult to express in economic terms, this new technique would undoubtedly raise the profile and enhance the reputation of the Hospital. Conclusions: Using the new technique in these patients could cut costs for the entire regional health care system, widen the experience of the Hospital's endocrinology team and offer the potential for the procedure also to be provided by operators on a freelance basis within the Hospital.
- New treatment
- Thyroid disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy