Effect of cost awareness on the utilization of laryngeal mask airway among anesthesiology residents

Michael Stuart Green, Sheldon B. Gomes, Kelly A. Machovec, Parmis Green


Introduction: Knowledge of cost perception is the primary step towards determining the role cost plays in decision making. We examined perception of cost and utilization. We tried to determine reasons for choosing pieces of equipment and tested the effect of cost awareness. We hypothesized altered utilization patterns in favor of a less expensive product.

Methods: We conducted a single blind prospective study examining the perceptions of laryngeal mask airway (LMA) cost among residents. The study tested whether cost awareness would alter utilization. The price was altered without residents’ knowledge to ensure recognition of a price difference. Utilization before and after price labeling was compared.

Results: The survey results showed when asked specifically ‘does cost influence your choice of LMA?’ 56% of the residents answered ‘No’. Only 2 out of 23 resident responses to the question ‘how much does an LMA cost’ fell within a 50% range of its approximate cost of $8. When asked ‘if two products are equivalent, would you choose the cheaper one?’ all residents answered ‘Yes’.

Prior to price labeling, LMA selection 8.25% GREEN and 91.75% CLEAR. After price labeling, selection of LMA’s was 24.27% GREEN and 75.73% CLEAR LMA’s. There was a significant difference between the utilization of GREEN and CLEAR LMA’s before and after price labeling.

Conclusion: This prospective single blind study on how cost awareness effects LMA selection showed altered selection following price labeling towards lower cost products. Focusing on cost awareness may have an impact on the future utilization and health care expenses.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v2n3p113


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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