Cost Of False Positive Blood Cultures

As healthcare costs rise, hospitals are under severe pressure to do more with less.

In this environment, reducing costs without compromising care is a top priority for every hospital decision maker.

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Treatment resulting from false positive blood cultures is one source of unnecessary resource consumption hospitals can reduce. Significant cost drivers associated with inaccurate septicemia diagnoses include:

antibiotics and pharmacy result increased costs

Many independent, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that the cost of a false positive blood culture can average $3,500 or more. The good news? That’s money you don’t have to spend.

false positive blood culture contamination rate chart

Clinical Info

In 2008, Gander et al. conducted a study at Parkland Hospital in Dallas which quantified incremental charges per false positive blood culture patient-instance of $8,720. Using an industry benchmark 40% cost-to-charge ratio, this analysis indicates that hospitals incur incremental unnecessary costs of $3,488 per false positive result. These costs include antibiotic therapies, extended length of stay, and other tests/treatments that are administered based on false positive blood culture results.

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