Time-Driven Activity-Based Cost Comparison of Thyroid Lobectomy and Radiofrequency Ablation. Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Ayoub, N. F., Balakrishnan, K., Orloff, L. A., Noel, J. E. 2023


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of benign thyroid nodules has gained traction for its therapeutic effectiveness, thyroid function preservation, and minimally invasive nature. While a growing body of evidence reports positive outcomes from thyroid RFA, financial comparisons between both procedures remain limited. This analysis aims to more accurately measure the direct cost of thyroid RFA in comparison to thyroid lobectomy.Bottom-up financial cost analysis.Tertiary endocrine head and neck surgery center.Time-driven activity-based costing was utilized to obtain unit-based cost estimates. The care cycles for thyroid lobectomy and RFA were defined, and process maps were developed comprising all personnel and work in the care cycle. Time estimates were calculated for all personnel involved, and public government data were used to obtain capacity cost rates for each component of the care cycle. Consumable supply and overhead costs were obtained for both procedures, and overall costs were compared.For thyroid lobectomy, total personnel costs were $1087.97, consumable supplies were $942.68, and overhead costs $17,199.10. For thyroid nodule RFA performed in an office setting, the total personnel cost calculated was $379.90, consumable supplies $1315.28, and overhead $7031.20. Overall, the total cost for thyroid lobectomy was $19,229.75 compared to $8726.38 for RFA.In-office thyroid nodule RFA is associated with lower direct costs than thyroid lobectomy, and overhead is the greatest cost driver for both procedures. If clinical and patient-centered outcomes are comparable, then RFA may provide higher value for appropriately selected patients.

View details for DOI 10.1002/ohn.360

View details for PubMedID 37157972