A break-even analysis of delivering a memory clinic by videoconferencing

Comans, Tracy A., Martin-Kahn, Melinda, Gray, Leonard C. and Scuffham, Paul A. (2013) A break-even analysis of delivering a memory clinic by videoconferencing. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 19 7: 393-396. doi:10.1177/1357633X13506532

Author Comans, Tracy A.
Martin-Kahn, Melinda
Gray, Leonard C.
Scuffham, Paul A.
Title A break-even analysis of delivering a memory clinic by videoconferencing
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
Publication date 2013-11-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1357633X13506532
Open Access Status
Volume 19
Issue 7
Start page 393
End page 396
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 2718 Health Informatics
Abstract We analysed the costs of two kinds of dementia clinic. In the conventional clinic, held in a rural area, the specialist travels to the clinic from the city. In the videoconferencing clinic, patients are also seen in a rural area, but the specialist conducts the assessment by video from the city. The fixed costs common to both modalities, such as clinic infrastructure, were ignored. The total fixed cost of a monthly conventional clinic was $522 and the total fixed cost of a monthly videoconferencing clinic was $881. The additional variable cost of the specialist travelling to the conventional clinic was $2.62 per minute of the specialist's travelling time. The break-even point at which the cost of the two modalities is the same was just over two hours (138 min round trip). A sensitivity analysis showed that the break-even point was not particularly sensitive to changes in staff wages, but slightly more sensitive to the non labour costs of videoconferencing. Air travel is not an efficient alternative to travel by car. Reducing the number of clinics to six per year results in a much higher cost of running the videoconferencing service compared to the conventional service. Videoconferencing for the purpose of diagnosing dementia is both a reliable and cost effective method of health service provision when a specialist is required to drive for more than about two hours (round trip) to provide a memory disorder clinic service.
Keyword Health Care Sciences & Services
Health Care Sciences & Services
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 456135
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Centre for Online Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 13 Nov 2013, 23:59:40 EST by Burke, Eliza on behalf of Centre for On-Line Health