Willingness To Pay For Diagnostic Tests

Boston, MA, USA – Diagnostic testing is one of the fastest growing areas of health care and an important driver of increasing health costs in the US. A new study, “Willingness to Pay for Diagnostic Technologies: A Review of the Contingent Valuation Literature,” published in Value in Health, shows that many people place considerable value on diagnostic information.

The results of this study, based on systematic review of 66 published willingness to pay (WTP) articles on diagnostic technologies, suggest that people tend to be willing to pay more for test information if they have higher perceived disease risk (such as family history) or face more severe conditions without a controllable risk factor (such as some cancers and congenital abnormalities). Higher income, more education, and more accurate tests are also associated with higher WTP.

“Our goal was to understand how people value diagnostic tests and how their willingness to pay varies with factors such as age, income, disease history, and test characteristics,” said Pei-Jung Lin, Ph.D., lead author on the study and an Assistant Professor at the Center for Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “This type of study can provide information to help set prices and copayments for diagnostic technologies that are in line with the perceived value to patients. But the wide variation in WTP estimates, even among similar tests, suggests a need for more consistent methodology in evaluating WTP.” This study was funded by GE Healthcare.


Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide).

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

For more information: www.ispor.org

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