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Sample records for activity-based costing approach

  1. Counting the costs of accreditation in acute care: an activity-based costing approach

    PubMed Central

    Mumford, Virginia; Greenfield, David; Hogden, Anne; Forde, Kevin; Westbrook, Johanna; Braithwaite, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To assess the costs of hospital accreditation in Australia. Design Mixed methods design incorporating: stakeholder analysis; survey design and implementation; activity-based costs analysis; and expert panel review. Setting Acute care hospitals accredited by the Australian Council for Health Care Standards. Participants Six acute public hospitals across four States. Results Accreditation costs varied from 0.03% to 0.60% of total hospital operating costs per year, averaged across the 4-year accreditation cycle. Relatively higher costs were associated with the surveys years and with smaller facilities. At a national level these costs translate to $A36.83 million, equivalent to 0.1% of acute public hospital recurrent expenditure in the 2012 fiscal year. Conclusions This is the first time accreditation costs have been independently evaluated across a wide range of hospitals and highlights the additional cost burden for smaller facilities. A better understanding of the costs allows policymakers to assess alternative accreditation and other quality improvement strategies, and understand their impact across a range of facilities. This methodology can be adapted to assess international accreditation programmes. PMID:26351190

  2. The cost of an upper gastroduodenal endoscopy: an activity-based approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Makris, Nicholaos; Barkun, Alan; Fallone, Carlo

    2002-07-01

    The cost of medical procedures is often unknown, but is nevertheless crucial for setting reimbursement and health care policies. The cost of an upper gastroduodenal endoscopy was investigated in ambulatory adults in a large academic hospital in the province of Quebec, from the perspective of the hospital. An activity-based costing methodology was used to break down the procedure into a number of priory tasks, to which resources used at the department level (labour, equipment, materials) were allocated. The direct cost of performing an endoscopy ranged from $62 for an unsedated, unbiopsied patient to $89 for a sedated, biopsied patient. Not included in this amount were separate reimbursement fees of $15 for biopsy analysis and the $50 professional fee for the performing physician, which are charged directly to the Ministry of Health. Incorporating overall, general hospital fixed overhead costs raises the cost of the procedure substantially, by $41, as does the use of nonreusable biopsy forceps, which adds about $63 to the total cost of the procedure. Given the high proportion of overall, hospital-wide, overhead costs in the total cost of the procedure, allocation methods of these overhead costs in current hospital accounting systems should be improved to obtain a more precise estimate of the full cost of upper gastroduodenal endoscopy.

  3. Allocating physicians' overhead costs to services: an econometric/accounting-activity based-approach.

    PubMed

    Peden, Al; Baker, Judith J

    2002-01-01

    Using the optimizing properties of econometric analysis, this study analyzes how physician overhead costs (OC) can be allocated to multiple activities to maximize precision in reimbursing the costs of services. Drawing on work by Leibenstein and Friedman, the analysis also shows that allocating OC to multiple activities unbiased by revenue requires controlling for revenue when making the estimates. Further econometric analysis shows that it is possible to save about 10 percent of OC by paying only for those that are necessary.

  4. Using activity-based costing in surgery.

    PubMed

    Grandlich, Cheryl

    2004-01-01

    ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING is an accounting technique that allows organizations to determine actual costs associated with their services based on the resources they consume. THIS TECHNIQUE can be used in a variety of ways, including targeting high-cost activities, forecasting financial baselines, and supporting resource allocation. FOUR STEPS should be followed when applying activity-based costing to surgical procedures. THIS ARTICLE explores how Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee, used activity-based costing.

  5. ABC's of Higher Education. Getting Back to the Basics: An Activity-Based Costing Approach to Planning and Financial Decision Making. AIR 1999 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Kelline S.; Downey, Ronald G.; Smith, Laurinda G.

    This paper describes the activity-based costing approach used to report and capture the time spent by faculty for specified activities at one Midwestern university. For each department, four major areas (instruction, research, public service, and administration) and 14 activities were identified. During the annual goal-setting period, each faculty…

  6. Time-driven activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Anderson, Steven R

    2004-11-01

    In the classroom, activity-based costing (ABC) looks like a great way to manage a company's limited resources. But executives who have tried to implement ABC in their organizations on any significant scale have often abandoned the attempt in the face of rising costs and employee irritation. They should try again, because a new approach sidesteps the difficulties associated with large-scale ABC implementation. In the revised model, managers estimate the resource demands imposed by each transaction, product, or customer, rather than relying on time-consuming and costly employee surveys. This method is simpler since it requires, for each group of resources, estimates of only two parameters: how much it costs per time unit to supply resources to the business's activities (the total overhead expenditure of a department divided by the total number of minutes of employee time available) and how much time it takes to carry out one unit of each kind of activity (as estimated or observed by the manager). This approach also overcomes a serious technical problem associated with employee surveys: the fact that, when asked to estimate time spent on activities, employees invariably report percentages that add up to 100. Under the new system, managers take into account time that is idle or unused. Armed with the data, managers then construct time equations, a new feature that enables the model to reflect the complexity of real-world operations by showing how specific order, customer, and activity characteristics cause processing times to vary. This Tool Kit uses concrete examples to demonstrate how managers can obtain meaningful cost and profitability information, quickly and inexpensively. Rather than endlessly updating and maintaining ABC data,they can now spend their time addressing the deficiencies the model reveals: inefficient processes, unprofitable products and customers, and excess capacity.

  7. Comprehensive cost analysis of sentinel node biopsy in solid head and neck tumors using a time-driven activity-based costing approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Nollevaux, Marie-Cécile; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2016-09-01

    Head and neck cancer (HNC) is predominantly a locoregional disease. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy offers a minimally invasive means of accurately staging the neck. Value in healthcare is determined by both outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) may offer more precise estimates of the true cost. Process maps were developed for nuclear medicine, operating room and pathology care phases. TDABC estimates the costs by combining information about the process with the unit cost of each resource used. Resource utilization is based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs are calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a Euros/min (2014), for each resource consumed. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost for each phase of care. Three time equations with six different scenarios were modeled based on the type of camera, the number of SLN and the type of staining used. Total times for different SLN scenarios vary between 284 and 307 min, respectively, with a total cost between 2794 and 3541€. The unit costs vary between 788€/h for the intraoperative evaluation with a gamma-probe and 889€/h for a preoperative imaging with a SPECT/CT. The unit costs for the lymphadenectomy and the pathological examination are, respectively, 560 and 713€/h. A 10 % increase of time per individual activity generates only 1 % change in the total cost. TDABC evaluates the cost of SLN in HNC. The total costs across all phases which varied between 2761 and 3744€ per standard case.

  8. Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Management Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1993-01-01

    In college and university administration, overhead costs are often charged to programs indiscriminately, whereas the support activities that underlie those costs remain unanalyzed. It is time for institutions to decrease ineffective use of resources. Activity-based management attributes costs more accurately and can improve efficiency. (MSE)

  9. Evaluation of activity-based costing versus resource-based relative value costing.

    PubMed

    Berlin, Mark F; Smith, Tommy H

    2004-01-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and relative value units costing (RVU) are two approaches that a practice manager can use to determine the cost of physician services. Each costing approach has features that provide distinction as well as differentiation in the cost estimates that are estimated. This paper will provide cost estimates under each approach along with cost estimates under a hybrid approach that merges features from each costing approach known as the ABC-RVU costing technique. A comparison of the results will be provided.

  10. Activity-Based Costing Systems for Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, Dennis H.

    1993-01-01

    Examines traditional costing models utilized in higher education and pinpoints shortcomings related to proper identification of costs. Describes activity-based costing systems as a superior alternative for cost identification, measurement, and allocation. (MLF)

  11. Activity-based costing and its application in a Turkish university hospital.

    PubMed

    Yereli, Ayşe Necef

    2009-03-01

    Resource management in hospitals is of increasing importance in today's global economy. Traditional accounting systems have become inadequate for managing hospital resources and accurately determining service costs. Conversely, the activity-based costing approach to hospital accounting is an effective cost management model that determines costs and evaluates financial performance across departments. Obtaining costs that are more accurate can enable hospitals to analyze and interpret costing decisions and make more accurate budgeting decisions. Traditional and activity-based costing approaches were compared using a cost analysis of gall bladder surgeries in the general surgery department of one university hospital in Manisa, Turkey.

  12. The case for implementing activity based costing.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul H; Bolinger-Perez, Nicole; Boysen, Kent

    2012-01-01

    ABC identifies profitable volumes to give managers information to better manage volumes. Managers must balance the demand for service while maintaining a reasonable profit margin. Disparate systems work extremely well for their intended purposes, but they do not communicate with one another. The strength of the data they hold individually may be leveraged when implementing ABC methodology. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota implemented a pilot of ABC to evaluate CT services where there is a high volume, multiple service location for cost comparison, variety of patient acuity and service mix, and large capital investments.The goal was to reveal the actual cost of CT services at the procedural level.

  13. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing in Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Yun, Brian J; Prabhakar, Anand M; Warsh, Jonathan; Kaplan, Robert; Brennan, John; Dempsey, Kyle E; Raja, Ali S

    2016-06-01

    Value in emergency medicine is determined by both patient-important outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. However, measuring true costs is challenging. Without an understanding of costs, emergency department (ED) leaders will be unable to determine which interventions might improve value for their patients. Although ongoing research may determine which outcomes are meaningful, an accurate costing system is also needed. This article reviews current costing mechanisms in the ED and their pitfalls. It then describes how time-driven activity-based costing may be superior to these current costing systems. Time-driven activity-based costing, in addition to being a more accurate costing system, can be used for process improvements in the ED.

  14. The utilization of activity-based cost accounting in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Emmett, Dennis; Forget, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Healthcare costs are being examined on all fronts. Healthcare accounts for 11% of the gross national product and will continue to rise as the "babyboomers" reach retirement age. While ascertaining costs is important, most research shows that costing methods have not been implemented in hospitals. This study is concerned with the use of costing methods; particularly activity-based cost accounting. A mail survey of CFOs was undertaken to determine the type of cost accounting method they use. In addition, they were asked whether they were aware of activity-based cost accounting and whether they had implemented it or were planning to implement it. Only 71.8% were aware of it and only 4.7% had implemented it. In addition, only 52% of all hospitals report using any cost accounting systems. Education needs to ensure that all healthcare executives are cognizant of activity-based accounting and its importance in determining costs. Only by determining costs can hospitals strive to contain them.

  15. IVF cycle cost estimation using Activity Based Costing and Monte Carlo simulation.

    PubMed

    Cassettari, Lucia; Mosca, Marco; Mosca, Roberto; Rolando, Fabio; Costa, Mauro; Pisaturo, Valerio

    2016-03-01

    The Authors present a new methodological approach in stochastic regime to determine the actual costs of an healthcare process. The paper specifically shows the application of the methodology for the determination of the cost of an Assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in Italy. The reason of this research comes from the fact that deterministic regime is inadequate to implement an accurate estimate of the cost of this particular treatment. In fact the durations of the different activities involved are unfixed and described by means of frequency distributions. Hence the need to determine in addition to the mean value of the cost, the interval within which it is intended to vary with a known confidence level. Consequently the cost obtained for each type of cycle investigated (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection), shows tolerance intervals around the mean value sufficiently restricted as to make the data obtained statistically robust and therefore usable also as reference for any benchmark with other Countries. It should be noted that under a methodological point of view the approach was rigorous. In fact it was used both the technique of Activity Based Costing for determining the cost of individual activities of the process both the Monte Carlo simulation, with control of experimental error, for the construction of the tolerance intervals on the final result.

  16. Applying activity-based costing to the nuclear medicine unit.

    PubMed

    Suthummanon, Sakesun; Omachonu, Vincent K; Akcin, Mehmet

    2005-08-01

    Previous studies have shown the feasibility of using activity-based costing (ABC) in hospital environments. However, many of these studies discuss the general applications of ABC in health-care organizations. This research explores the potential application of ABC to the nuclear medicine unit (NMU) at a teaching hospital. The finding indicates that the current cost averages 236.11 US dollars for all procedures, which is quite different from the costs computed by using ABC. The difference is most significant with positron emission tomography scan, 463 US dollars (an increase of 96%), as well as bone scan and thyroid scan, 114 US dollars (a decrease of 52%). The result of ABC analysis demonstrates that the operational time (machine time and direct labour time) and the cost of drugs have the most influence on cost per procedure. Clearly, to reduce the cost per procedure for the NMU, the reduction in operational time and cost of drugs should be analysed. The result also indicates that ABC can be used to improve resource allocation and management. It can be an important aid in making management decisions, particularly for improving pricing practices by making costing more accurate. It also facilitates the identification of underutilized resources and related costs, leading to cost reduction. The ABC system will also help hospitals control costs, improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide, and manage their resources better.

  17. Activity-Based Costing in the After Press Services Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shevasuthisilp, Suntichai; Punsathitwong, Kosum

    2009-10-01

    This research was conducted to apply activity-based costing (ABC) in an after press service company in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. The company produces all of its products by one-stop service (such as coating, stitching, binding, die cutting, and gluing). All products are made to order, and have different sizes and patterns. A strategy of low price is used to compete in the marketplace. After cost analysis, the study found that the company has high overhead (36.5% of total cost). The company's problem is its use of traditional cost accounting, which has low accuracy in assigning overhead costs. If management uses this information when pricing customer orders, losses may occur because real production costs may be higher than the selling price. Therefore, the application of ABC in cost analysis can help executives receive accurate cost information; establish a sound pricing strategy; and improve the manufacturing process by determining work activities which have excessively high production costs. According to this research, 6 out of 56 items had a production cost higher than the selling price, leading to losses of 123,923 baht per year. Methods used to solve this problem were: reducing production costs; establishing suitable prices; and creating a sales promotion with lower prices for customers whose orders include processes involving unused capacity. These actions will increase overall sales of the company, and allow more efficient use of its machinery.

  18. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches.

  19. The ABCs of Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Containment and Reallocation Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1992-01-01

    This article describes activity-based costing (ABC) and how this tool may help management understand the costs of major activities and identify possible alternatives. Also discussed are the traditional costing systems used by higher education and ways of applying ABC to higher education. (GLR)

  20. A new costing model in hospital management: time-driven activity-based costing system.

    PubMed

    Öker, Figen; Özyapıcı, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Traditional cost systems cause cost distortions because they cannot meet the requirements of today's businesses. Therefore, a new and more effective cost system is needed. Consequently, time-driven activity-based costing system has emerged. The unit cost of supplying capacity and the time needed to perform an activity are the only 2 factors considered by the system. Furthermore, this system determines unused capacity by considering practical capacity. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the efficiency of the time-driven activity-based costing system and to display how it can be applied in a health care institution. A case study was conducted in a private hospital in Cyprus. Interviews and direct observations were used to collect the data. The case study revealed that the cost of unused capacity is allocated to both open and laparoscopic (closed) surgeries. Thus, by using the time-driven activity-based costing system, managers should eliminate the cost of unused capacity so as to obtain better results. Based on the results of the study, hospital management is better able to understand the costs of different surgeries. In addition, managers can easily notice the cost of unused capacity and decide how many employees to be dismissed or directed to other productive areas.

  1. [Cost management: the implementation of the activity-based costing method in sterile processing department].

    PubMed

    Jericó, Marli de Carvalho; Castilho, Valéria

    2010-09-01

    This exploratory case study was performed aiming at implementing the Activity-based Costing (ABC) method in a sterile processing department (SPD) of a major teaching hospital. Data collection was performed throughout 2006. Documentary research techniques and non participant closed observation were used. The ABC implementation allowed for learning the activity-based costing of both the chemical and physical disinfection cycle/load: (dollar 9.95) and (dollar 12.63), respectively; as well as the cost for sterilization by steam under pressure (autoclave) (dollar 31.37) and low temperature steam and gaseous formaldehyde sterilization (LTSF) (dollar 255.28). The information provided by the ABC method has optimized the overall understanding of the cost driver process and provided the foundation for assessing performance and improvement in the SPD processes.

  2. The Cost of Library Services: Activity-Based Costing in an Australian Academic Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter; Ellis-Newman, Jennifer

    1998-01-01

    Explains activity-based costing (ABC), discusses the benefits of ABC to library managers, and describes the steps involved in implementing ABC in an Australian academic library. Discusses the budgeting process in universities, and considers benefits to the library. (Author/LRW)

  3. Operations Assessment of Launch Vehicle Architectures using Activity Based Cost Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.; McCleskey, Carey

    2000-01-01

    The growing emphasis on affordability for space transportation systems requires the assessment of new space vehicles for all life cycle activities, from design and development, through manufacturing and operations. This paper addresses the operational assessment of launch vehicles, focusing on modeling the ground support requirements of a vehicle architecture, and estimating the resulting costs and flight rate. This paper proposes the use of Activity Based Costing (ABC) modeling for this assessment. The model uses expert knowledge to determine the activities, the activity times and the activity costs based on vehicle design characteristics. The approach provides several advantages to current approaches to vehicle architecture assessment including easier validation and allowing vehicle designers to understand the cost and cycle time drivers.

  4. A tutorial on activity-based costing of electronic health records.

    PubMed

    Federowicz, Marie H; Grossman, Mila N; Hayes, Bryant J; Riggs, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    As the American Recovery and Restoration Act of 2009 allocates $19 billion to health information technology, it will be useful for health care managers to project the true cost of implementing an electronic health record (EHR). This study presents a step-by-step guide for using activity-based costing (ABC) to estimate the cost of an EHR. ABC is a cost accounting method with a "top-down" approach for estimating the cost of a project or service within an organization. The total cost to implement an EHR includes obvious costs, such as licensing fees, and hidden costs, such as impact on productivity. Unlike other methods, ABC includes all of the organization's expenditures and is less likely to miss hidden costs. Although ABC is used considerably in manufacturing and other industries, it is a relatively new phenomenon in health care. ABC is a comprehensive approach that the health care field can use to analyze the cost-effectiveness of implementing EHRs. In this article, ABC is applied to a health clinic that recently implemented an EHR, and the clinic is found to be more productive after EHR implementation. This methodology can help health care administrators assess the impact of a stimulus investment on organizational performance.

  5. The Effect of Activity-Based Costing on Logistics Management

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    361 46. Current Cost Accounting System Can Trace Costs to Specific Vendors ..................... 362 47. Will Need to Accurately...elsewhere in the firm? a. What problems have the logistics functions encountered with their current cost accounting systems? 13 b. What benefits the...have already recognized problems within their current cost accounting systems. He claims the systems ". . .give managers incorrect product costing

  6. Understanding Time-driven Activity-based Costing.

    PubMed

    Sharan, Alok D; Schroeder, Gregory D; West, Michael E; Vaccaro, Alexander R

    2016-03-01

    Transitioning to a value-based health care system will require providers to increasingly scrutinize their outcomes and costs. Although there has been a great deal of effort to understand outcomes, cost accounting in health care has been a greater challenge. Currently the cost accounting methods used by hospitals and providers are based off a fee-for-service system. As resources become increasingly scarce and the health care system attempts to understand which services provide the greatest value, it will be critically important to understand the true costs of delivering a service. An understanding of the true costs of a particular service will help providers make smarter decisions on how to allocate and utilize resources as well as determine which activities are nonvalue added. Achieving value will require providers to have a greater focus on accurate outcome data as well as better methods of cost accounting.

  7. Activity-Based Costing Model for Assessing Economic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeHayes, Daniel W.; Lovrinic, Joseph G.

    1994-01-01

    An economic model for evaluating the cost performance of academic and administrative programs in higher education is described. Examples from its application at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are used to illustrate how the model has been used to control costs and reengineer processes. (Author/MSE)

  8. Activity-Based Costing in the Naval Postgraduate School

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    Some colleges have substantial endowments, while others are non-existent. For this reason, the printed tuition price on college websites is not...always equivalent to the cost. Nonetheless, using these college tuition prices as references provides insight to where the Naval Postgraduate School...ABSTRACT (maximum200words) The Naval Postgraduate School is required to report activity costs and set tuition rates annually. The requirement to

  9. The Role of Activity Based Costing (ABC) in Educational Support Services: A White Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edds, Daniel B.

    Many front-line managers who are assuming more financial responsibility for their organizations find traditional cost accounting inadequate for their needs and are turning to Activity Based Costing (ABC). ABC is not a financial reporting system to serve the needs of regulatory agencies, but a tool that tracks costs from the general ledger…

  10. Bridging the gap between finance and clinical operations with activity-based cost management.

    PubMed

    Storfjell, J L; Jessup, S

    1996-12-01

    Activity-based cost management (ABCM) is an exciting management tool that links financial information with operations. By determining the costs of specific activities and processes, nurse managers accurately determine true costs of services more accurately than traditional cost accounting methods, and then can target processes for improvement and monitor them for change and improvement. The authors describe the ABCM process applied to nursing management situations.

  11. Activity-Based Costing in User Services of an Academic Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis-Newman, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The rationale for using Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in a library is to allocate indirect costs to products and services based on the factors that most influence them. This paper discusses the benefits of ABC to library managers and explains the steps involved in implementing ABC in the user services area of an Australian academic library.…

  12. Towards the use of ontologies for activity-based costing in healthcare organizations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anand

    2006-01-01

    Activity-based costing is a methodology which provides a basis for healthcare cost optimization. A robust formal representation of such activities is needed in order to be able to draw inferences as to the costs involved in a reliable manner. An introduction to the basic ontological distinctions involved in such a representation and to the complications one faces in carrying out the task is presented in this paper.

  13. Activity-based costing in the operating room at Valley View Hospital.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J; Boyd, G F

    1997-01-01

    This article presents an example of how one hospital reports the results of activity-based costing (ABC). It examines the composition and supporting assumptions of an ABC report for a particular procedure in the operating room (OR). It describes management uses of the information generated. It comments upon how the continuous quality improvement (CQI) is synchronized with the ABC reporting.

  14. Critical analysis of the Hanford spent nuclear fuel project activity based cost estimate

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.N.

    1998-09-29

    In 1997, the SNFP developed a baseline change request (BCR) and submitted it to DOE-RL for approval. The schedule was formally evaluated to have a 19% probability of success [Williams, 1998]. In December 1997, DOE-RL Manager John Wagoner approved the BCR contingent upon a subsequent independent review of the new baseline. The SNFP took several actions during the first quarter of 1998 to prepare for the independent review. The project developed the Estimating Requirements and Implementation Guide [DESH, 1998] and trained cost account managers (CAMS) and other personnel involved in the estimating process in activity-based cost (ABC) estimating techniques. The SNFP then applied ABC estimating techniques to develop the basis for the December Baseline (DB) and documented that basis in Basis of Estimate (BOE) books. These BOEs were provided to DOE in April 1998. DOE commissioned Professional Analysis, Inc. (PAI) to perform a critical analysis (CA) of the DB. PAI`s review formally began on April 13. PAI performed the CA, provided three sets of findings to the SNFP contractor, and initiated reconciliation meetings. During the course of PAI`s review, DOE directed the SNFP to develop a new baseline with a higher probability of success. The contractor transmitted the new baseline, which is referred to as the High Probability Baseline (HPB), to DOE on April 15, 1998 [Williams, 1998]. The HPB was estimated to approach a 90% confidence level on the start of fuel movement [Williams, 1998]. This high probability resulted in an increased cost and a schedule extension. To implement the new baseline, the contractor initiated 26 BCRs with supporting BOES. PAI`s scope was revised on April 28 to add reviewing the HPB and the associated BCRs and BOES.

  15. Clinical process analysis and activity-based costing at a heart center.

    PubMed

    Ridderstolpe, Lisa; Johansson, Andreas; Skau, Tommy; Rutberg, Hans; Ahlfeldt, Hans

    2002-08-01

    Cost studies, productivity, efficiency, and quality of care measures, the links between resources and patient outcomes, are fundamental issues for hospital management today. This paper describes the implementation of a model for process analysis and activity-based costing (ABC)/management at a Heart Center in Sweden as a tool for administrative cost information, strategic decision-making, quality improvement, and cost reduction. A commercial software package (QPR) containing two interrelated parts, "ProcessGuide and CostControl," was used. All processes at the Heart Center were mapped and graphically outlined. Processes and activities such as health care procedures, research, and education were identified together with their causal relationship to costs and products/services. The construction of the ABC model in CostControl was time-consuming. However, after the ABC/management system was created, it opened the way for new possibilities including process and activity analysis, simulation, and price calculations. Cost analysis showed large variations in the cost obtained for individual patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. We conclude that a process-based costing system is applicable and has the potential to be useful in hospital management.

  16. Defining the value of magnetic resonance imaging in prostate brachytherapy using time-driven activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Thaker, Nikhil G; Orio, Peter F; Potters, Louis

    2017-02-07

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) simulation and planning for prostate brachytherapy (PBT) may deliver potential clinical benefits but at an unknown cost to the provider and healthcare system. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) is an innovative bottom-up costing tool in healthcare that can be used to measure the actual consumption of resources required over the full cycle of care. TDABC analysis was conducted to compare patient-level costs for an MRI-based versus traditional PBT workflow. TDABC cost was only 1% higher for the MRI-based workflow, and utilization of MRI allowed for cost shifting from other imaging modalities, such as CT and ultrasound, to MRI during the PBT process. Future initiatives will be required to follow the costs of care over longer periods of time to determine if improvements in outcomes and toxicities with an MRI-based approach lead to lower resource utilization and spending over the long-term. Understanding provider costs will become important as healthcare reform transitions to value-based purchasing and other alternative payment models.

  17. Activity based costing of diagnostic procedures at a nuclear medicine center of a tertiary care hospital

    PubMed Central

    Hada, Mahesh Singh; Chakravarty, Abhijit; Mukherjee, Partha

    2014-01-01

    Context: Escalating health care expenses pose a new challenge to the health care environment of becoming more cost-effective. There is an urgent need for more accurate data on the costs of health care procedures. Demographic changes, changing morbidity profile, and the rising impact of noncommunicable diseases are emphasizing the role of nuclear medicine (NM) in the future health care environment. However, the impact of emerging disease load and stagnant resource availability needs to be balanced by a strategic drive towards optimal utilization of available healthcare resources. Aim: The aim was to ascertain the cost of diagnostic procedures conducted at the NM Department of a tertiary health care facility by employing activity based costing (ABC) method. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out over a period of 1 year. ABC methodology was utilized for ascertaining unit cost of different diagnostic procedures and such costs were compared with prevalent market rates for estimating cost effectiveness of the department being studied. Results: The cost per unit procedure for various procedures varied from Rs. 869 (USD 14.48) for a thyroid scan to Rs. 11230 (USD 187.16) for a meta-iodo-benzyl-guanidine (MIBG) scan, the most cost-effective investigations being the stress thallium, technetium-99 m myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and MIBG scan. The costs obtained from this study were observed to be competitive when compared to prevalent market rates. Conclusion: ABC methodology provides precise costing inputs and should be used for all future costing studies in NM Departments. PMID:25400363

  18. Activities identification for activity-based cost/management applications of the diagnostics outpatient procedures.

    PubMed

    Alrashdan, Abdalla; Momani, Amer; Ababneh, Tamador

    2012-01-01

    One of the most challenging problems facing healthcare providers is to determine the actual cost for their procedures, which is important for internal accounting and price justification to insurers. The objective of this paper is to find suitable categories to identify the diagnostic outpatient medical procedures and translate them from functional orientation to process orientation. A hierarchal task tree is developed based on a classification schema of procedural activities. Each procedure is seen as a process consisting of a number of activities. This makes a powerful foundation for activity-based cost/management implementation and provides enough information to discover the value-added and non-value-added activities that assist in process improvement and eventually may lead to cost reduction. Work measurement techniques are used to identify the standard time of each activity at the lowest level of the task tree. A real case study at a private hospital is presented to demonstrate the proposed methodology.

  19. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    PubMed

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  20. The use of activity-based cost estimation as a management tool for cultural change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandell, Humboldt; Bilby, Curt

    1991-01-01

    It will be shown that the greatest barrier to American exploration of the planet Mars is not the development of the technology needed to deliver humans and return them safely to earth. Neither is it the cost of such an undertaking, as has been previously suggested, although certainly, such a venture may not be inexpensive by some measures. The predicted costs of exploration have discouraged serious political dialog on the subject. And, in fact, even optimistic projections of the NASA budget do not contain the resources required, under the existing development and management paradigm, for human space exploration programs. It will be demonstrated that the perception of the costs of such a venture, and the cultural responses to the perceptions are factors inhibiting American exploration of the moon and the planet Mars. Cost models employed in the aerospace industry today correctly mirror the history of past space programs, and as such, are representative of the existing management and development paradigms. However, if, under this current paradigm no major exploration programs are feasible, then cost analysis methods based in the past may not have great utility in exploring the needed cultural changes. This paper explores the use of a new type of model, the activity based cost model, which will treat management style as an input variable, in a sense providing a tool whereby a complete, affordable program might be designed, including both the technological and management aspects.

  1. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for Inter-Library Services: A Case Study in a University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pernot, Eli; Roodhooft, Filip; Van den Abbeele, Alexandra

    2007-01-01

    Although the true costs of inter-library loans (ILL) are unknown, universities increasingly rely on them to provide better library services at lower costs. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing analysis of ILL and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  2. Combining Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing with Clinical Outcome in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Measure Value in Treatment of Depression

    PubMed Central

    Lindefors, Nils

    2016-01-01

    Background A major challenge of mental health care is to provide safe and effective treatment with limited resources. The main purpose of this study was to examine a value-based approach in clinical psychiatry when evaluating a process improvement initiative. This was accomplished by using the relatively new time driven activity based costing (TDABC) method within the more widely adopted cost-effectiveness analysis framework for economic evaluation of healthcare technologies. The objective was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of allowing psychologists to perform post-treatment assessment previously performed by psychiatrists at an outpatient clinic treating depression using internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (ICBT). Methods Data was collected from 568 adult patients treated with ICBT for depression during 2013–2014. The TDABC methodology was used to estimate total healthcare costs, including development of process maps for the complete cycle of care and estimation of resource use and minute costs of staff, hospital space and materials based on their relative proportions used. Clinical outcomes were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale (PHQ-9) before and after treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA) was performed and the results presented as incremental net benefits (INB), cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs) and confidence ellipses to demonstrate uncertainty around the value of the organizational intervention. Outcomes Taking into account the complete healthcare process (from referral to follow-up assessment), treatment costs decreased from $709 (SD = $130) per patient in 2013 to $659 (SD = $134) in 2014 while treatment effectiveness was maintained; 27% had achieved full remission from depression after treatment (PHQ-9 < 5) during both 2013 and 2014 and an additional 35% and 33% had achieved partial remission in 2013 and 2014, respectively. At follow-up, 42% were in full remission

  3. The Effects of the Use of Activity-Based Costing Software in the Learning Process: An Empirical Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Andrea; Ferreira, Aldónio

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the influence of the use of accounting software in teaching activity-based costing (ABC) on the learning process. It draws upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour and uses the end-user computer satisfaction (EUCS) framework to examine students' satisfaction with the ABC software. The study examines students' satisfaction with…

  4. Activity-Based Approach for Teaching Aqueous Solubility, Energy, and Entropy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisen, Laura; Marano, Nadia; Glazier, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    We describe an activity-based approach for teaching aqueous solubility to introductory chemistry students that provides a more balanced presentation of the roles of energy and entropy in dissolution than is found in most general chemistry textbooks. In the first few activities, students observe that polar substances dissolve in water, whereas…

  5. Comparison of cost determination of both resource consumption accounting and time-driven activity-based costing systems in a healthcare setting.

    PubMed

    Özyapıcı, Hasan; Tanış, Veyis Naci

    2016-06-02

    Objective The aim of the present study was to explore the differences between resource consumption accounting (RCA) and time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) systems in determining the costs of services of a healthcare setting.Methods A case study was conducted to calculate the unit costs of open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries using TDABC and RCA.Results The RCA system assigns a higher cost both to open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries than TDABC. The total cost of unused capacity under the TDABC system is also double that in RCA.Conclusion Unlike TDABC, RCA calculates lower costs for unused capacities but higher costs for products or services in a healthcare setting in which fixed costs make up a high proportion of total costs.What is known about the topic? TDABC is a revision of the activity-based costing (ABC) system. RCA is also a new costing system that includes both the theoretical advantages of ABC and the practical advantages of German costing. However, little is known about the differences arising from application of TDABC and RCA.What does this paper add? There is no study comparing both TDABC and RCA in a single case study based on a real-world healthcare setting. Thus, the present study fills this gap in the literature and it is unique in the sense that it is the first case study comparing TDABC and RCA for open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries in a healthcare setting.What are the implications for practitioners? This study provides several interesting results for managers and cost accounting researchers. Thus, it will contribute to the spread of RCA studies in healthcare settings. It will also help the implementers of TDABC to revise data concerning the cost of unused capacity. In addition, by separating costs into fixed and variable, the paper will help managers to create a blended (combined) system that can improve both short- and long-term decisions.

  6. Optimal Medical Equipment Maintenance Service Proposal Decision Support System combining Activity Based Costing (ABC) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Leticia; Sloane, Elliot; M Bassani, Jose

    2005-01-01

    This study describes a framework to support the choice of the maintenance service (in-house or third party contract) for each category of medical equipment based on: a) the real medical equipment maintenance management system currently used by the biomedical engineering group of the public health system of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas located in Brazil to control the medical equipment maintenance service, b) the Activity Based Costing (ABC) method, and c) the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. Results show the cost and performance related to each type of maintenance service. Decision-makers can use these results to evaluate possible strategies for the categories of equipment.

  7. Status of costing hospital nursing work within Australian casemix activity-based funding policy.

    PubMed

    Heslop, Liza

    2012-02-01

    Australia has a long history of patient level costing initiated when casemix funding was implemented in several states in the early 1990s. Australia includes, to some extent, hospital payment based on nursing intensity adopted within casemix funding policy and the Diagnostic Related Group system. Costing of hospital nursing services in Australia has not changed significantly in the last few decades despite widespread introduction of casemix funding policy at the state level. Recent Commonwealth of Australia National Health Reform presents change to the management of the delivery of health care including health-care costing. There is agreement for all Australian jurisdictions to progress to casemix-based activity funding. Within this context, nurse costing infrastructure presents contemporary issues and challenges. An assessment is made of the progress of costing nursing services within casemix funding models in Australian hospitals. Valid and reliable Australian-refined nursing service weights might overcome present cost deficiencies and limitations.

  8. How can activity-based costing methodology be performed as a powerful tool to calculate costs and secure appropriate patient care?

    PubMed

    Lin, Blossom Yen-Ju; Chao, Te-Hsin; Yao, Yuh; Tu, Shu-Min; Wu, Chun-Ching; Chern, Jin-Yuan; Chao, Shiu-Hsiung; Shaw, Keh-Yuong

    2007-04-01

    Previous studies have shown the advantages of using activity-based costing (ABC) methodology in the health care industry. The potential values of ABC methodology in health care are derived from the more accurate cost calculation compared to the traditional step-down costing, and the potentials to evaluate quality or effectiveness of health care based on health care activities. This project used ABC methodology to profile the cost structure of inpatients with surgical procedures at the Department of Colorectal Surgery in a public teaching hospital, and to identify the missing or inappropriate clinical procedures. We found that ABC methodology was able to accurately calculate costs and to identify several missing pre- and post-surgical nursing education activities in the course of treatment.

  9. Development of Activity-based Cost Functions for Cellulase, Invertase, and Other Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stowers, Chris C.; Ferguson, Elizabeth M.; Tanner, Robert D.

    As enzyme chemistry plays an increasingly important role in the chemical industry, cost analysis of these enzymes becomes a necessity. In this paper, we examine the aspects that affect the cost of enzymes based upon enzyme activity. The basis for this study stems from a previously developed objective function that quantifies the tradeoffs in enzyme purification via the foam fractionation process (Cherry et al., Braz J Chem Eng 17:233-238, 2000). A generalized cost function is developed from our results that could be used to aid in both industrial and lab scale chemical processing. The generalized cost function shows several nonobvious results that could lead to significant savings. Additionally, the parameters involved in the operation and scaling up of enzyme processing could be optimized to minimize costs. We show that there are typically three regimes in the enzyme cost analysis function: the low activity prelinear region, the moderate activity linear region, and high activity power-law region. The overall form of the cost analysis function appears to robustly fit the power law form.

  10. [Clinical study using activity-based costing to assess cost-effectiveness of a wound management system utilizing modern dressings in comparison with traditional wound care].

    PubMed

    Ohura, Takehiko; Sanada, Hiromi; Mino, Yoshio

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, the concept of cost-effectiveness, including medical delivery and health service fee systems, has become widespread in Japanese health care. In the field of pressure ulcer management, the recent introduction of penalty subtraction in the care fee system emphasizes the need for prevention and cost-effective care of pressure ulcer. Previous cost-effectiveness research on pressure ulcer management tended to focus only on "hardware" costs such as those for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, while neglecting other cost aspects, particularly those involving the cost of labor. Thus, cost-effectiveness in pressure ulcer care has not yet been fully established. To provide true cost effectiveness data, a comparative prospective study was initiated in patients with stage II and III pressure ulcers. Considering the potential impact of the pressure reduction mattress on clinical outcome, in particular, the same type of pressure reduction mattresses are utilized in all the cases in the study. The cost analysis method used was Activity-Based Costing, which measures material and labor cost aspects on a daily basis. A reduction in the Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST) score was used to measure clinical effectiveness. Patients were divided into three groups based on the treatment method and on the use of a consistent algorithm of wound care: 1. MC/A group, modern dressings with a treatment algorithm (control cohort). 2. TC/A group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) with a treatment algorithm. 3. TC/NA group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) without a treatment algorithm. The results revealed that MC/A is more cost-effective than both TC/A and TC/NA. This suggests that appropriate utilization of modern dressing materials and a pressure ulcer care algorithm would contribute to reducing health care costs, improved clinical results, and, ultimately, greater cost-effectiveness.

  11. Evaluation of the Mean Cost and Activity Based Cost in the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in the Laboratory Routine of a High-Complexity Hospital in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    de Almeida, Isabela N.; de Assis Figueredo, Lida J.; Soares, Valéria M.; Vater, Maria C.; Alves, Suely; da Silva Carvalho, Wânia; Kritski, Afrânio L.; de Miranda, Silvana S.

    2017-01-01

    At a global level, with the increase in healthcare costs, there is a need to assess the economic impact of the incorporation of new technologies in different health disorders in different countries. There is scarce information regarding costs incurred with the use of current or new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis or from the vantage point of their incorporation within the healthcare systems of high-burden countries. The present study aimed to assess the mean cost and the activity based cost of the laboratory diagnosis for tuberculosis by means of conventional techniques and from the Detect TB®LabTest molecular test kit in a general high-complexity hospital of the public health system in Brazil. Cost analysis was performed by means of primary data, collected in the Mycobacteria and Molecular Biology Laboratory in 2013. The mean cost and activity based cost were, respectively, U$10.06/U$5.61 for centrifuged bacilloscopy by Ziehl Neelsen (ZN) and Auramine (AU); U$7.42/U$4.15 for direct bacilloscopy by ZN; U$27.38/U$16.50 for culture in a Loweinstein-Jensen solid medium; and U$115.74/U$73.46 for the Detect TB®LabTest Kit. The calculation of the ABC should be used in making decisions by administrators to be the best method of assessing the costs of conventional techniques and molecular method for providing the real value of the tests. So it is need to calculate the ABC, and not of the mean cost, in various scenarios before incorporating new technologies in health institutions. PMID:28261194

  12. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-01

    This research presents a systematic approach to evaluating the costs of integrating new generation and operational procedures into an existing power system, and the methodology is independent of the type of change or nature of the generation. The work was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and performed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to investigate three integration cost-related questions: (1) How does the addition of new generation affect a system's operational costs, (2) How do generation mix and operating parameters and procedures affect costs, and (3) How does the amount of variable generation (non-dispatchable wind and solar) impact the accuracy of natural gas orders? A detailed operational analysis was performed for seven sets of experiments: variable generation, large conventional generation, generation mix, gas prices, fast-start generation, self-scheduling, and gas supply constraints. For each experiment, four components of integration costs were examined: cycling costs, non-cycling VO&M costs, fuel costs, and reserves provisioning costs. The investigation was conducted with PLEXOS production cost modeling software utilizing an updated version of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 118-bus test system overlaid with projected operating loads from the Western Electricity Coordinating Council for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Puget Sound Energy, and Public Service Colorado in the year 2020. The test system was selected in consultation with an industry-based technical review committee to be a reasonable approximation of an interconnection yet small enough to allow the research team to investigate a large number of scenarios and sensitivity combinations. The research should prove useful to market designers, regulators, utilities, and others who want to better understand how system changes can affect production costs.

  13. Cost Analysis of Selected Patient Categories within a Dermatology Department Using an ABC Approach

    PubMed Central

    Papadaki, Šárka; Popesko, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Background: Present trends in hospital management are facilitating the utilization of more accurate costing methods, which potentially results in superior cost-related information and improved managerial decision-making. However, the Activity-Based Costing method (ABC), which was designed for cost allocation purposes in the 1980s, is not widely used by healthcare organizations. This study analyzes costs related to selected categories of patients, those suffering from psoriasis, varicose ulcers, eczema and other conditions, within a dermatology department at a Czech regional hospital. Methods: The study was conducted in a hospital department where both inpatient and outpatient care are offered. Firstly, the diseases treated at the department were identified. Further costs were determined for each activity using ABC. The study utilized data from managerial and financial accounting, as well as data obtained through interviews with departmental staff. Using a defined cost-allocation procedure makes it possible to determine the cost of an individual patient with a given disease more accurately than via traditional costing procedures. Results: The cost analysis focused on the differences between the costs related to individual patients within the selected diagnoses, variations between inpatient and outpatient treatments and the costs of activities performed by the dermatology department. Furthermore, comparing the costs identified through this approach and the revenue stemming from the health insurance system is an option. Conclusions: Activity-Based Costing is more accurate and relevant than the traditional costing method. The outputs of ABC provide an abundance of additional information for managers. The benefits of this research lie in its practically-tested outputs, resulting from calculating the costs of hospitalization, which could prove invaluable to persons involved in hospital management and decision-making. The study also defines the managerial implications of

  14. Decommissioning Cost Estimating -The ''Price'' Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Manning, R.; Gilmour, J.

    2002-02-26

    Over the past 9 years UKAEA has developed a formalized approach to decommissioning cost estimating. The estimating methodology and computer-based application are known collectively as the PRICE system. At the heart of the system is a database (the knowledge base) which holds resource demand data on a comprehensive range of decommissioning activities. This data is used in conjunction with project specific information (the quantities of specific components) to produce decommissioning cost estimates. PRICE is a dynamic cost-estimating tool, which can satisfy both strategic planning and project management needs. With a relatively limited analysis a basic PRICE estimate can be produced and used for the purposes of strategic planning. This same estimate can be enhanced and improved, primarily by the improvement of detail, to support sanction expenditure proposals, and also as a tender assessment and project management tool. The paper will: describe the principles of the PRICE estimating system; report on the experiences of applying the system to a wide range of projects from contaminated car parks to nuclear reactors; provide information on the performance of the system in relation to historic estimates, tender bids, and outturn costs.

  15. MAI (Multi-Dimensional Activity Based Integrated Approach): A Strategy for Cognitive Development of the Learners at the Elementary Stage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basantia, Tapan Kumar; Panda, B. N.; Sahoo, Dukhabandhu

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive development of the learners is the prime task of each and every stage of our school education and its importance especially in elementary state is quite worth mentioning. Present study investigated the effectiveness of a new and innovative strategy (i.e., MAI (multi-dimensional activity based integrated approach)) for the development of…

  16. Circofer -- Low cost approach to DRI production

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P.; Bresser, W.; Hirsch, M. )

    1994-09-01

    Lurgi's Circofer Process for reducing fine ores with coal in a Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) is a direct approach by using a widely applied and proven reactor in commercializing a state of the art technology. The technology is in response to the demand for a direct reduction process of the future by making possible: the use of low cost ore fines and inexpensive primary energy, fine coal; production of a high grade product used as feedstock by mini mills with the additional advantage of dilution of contaminants introduced by scrap; low environmental impact; and low specific investment costs due to the closed energy circuit. With the incorporation of the latest developments in CFB technology, Circofer offers excellent heat and mass transfer conditions and, consequently, improved gas and energy utilization. High gas conversions using recycle gas have a positive influence on the process economics whereby no export gas is produced. Sticking, accretion and reoxidation problems, which have plagued all previous attempts at developing direct reduction processes using fine ore and coal as a reductant, are avoided, essentially by operating with defined amounts of excess carbon and separation of the reduction and gasifying zones.

  17. Novel approaches to low-cost MRI.

    PubMed

    Macovski, A; Conolly, S

    1993-08-01

    This paper presents a combination of speculative approaches, some related to earlier work and some apparently novel, which show great promise in providing a new class of MRI machines that would be considerably less expensive. This class would have advantages and disadvantages as compared to existing MRI, over and above that of low cost. The disadvantages include the apparent inability to perform classic spectroscopy, and limited flexibility in the area of selective excitation. The advantages include a fundamental immunity to inhomogeneity and susceptibility problems, the ability to create a wide class of machines that are designed for specific anatomy-related applications, the ability to design open machines for physician access, and improved capability for high speed imaging. Generic to all of the methods presented are a pulsed polarizing field and an oscillatory read-out bias field. The pulsed field initially polarizes the magnetic moments. Since it is not on during the readout operation it has negligible homogeneity requirements since changes in the field amplitude will merely shade the image intensity. During readout a relatively low bias field is used. To enable the use of a relatively inhomogeneous bias field, an oscillatory field is used that has a zero average value. This prevents any long-term buildup of phase errors due to a frequency error associated with inhomogeneity. Thus the average bias frequency will be determined solely by the frequency rather than the amplitude of the bias field. Three methods are described, all including the above features. The first two involve imaging in the laboratory frame, while the third involves imaging in the rotating frame. The second approach requires no RF excitation and the third approach uses RF bias and gradient signals. Some approaches to slice selection are described.

  18. A better approach to cost estimation.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Russ

    2013-03-01

    Using ratios of costs to charges (RCCs) to estimate costs can cause hospitals to significantly over- or under-invest in service lines. A focus on improving cost estimation in cost centers where physicians have significant control over operating expenses, such as drugs or implants, can strengthen decision making and strategic planning. Connecting patient file information to purchasing data can lead to more accurate reflections of actual costs and help hospitals gain better visibility across service lines.

  19. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease—a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32 201±$23 059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. Methods and analysis We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals’ costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. Ethics and dissemination All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. PMID:26307621

  20. The JPL Cost Risk Analysis Approach that Incorporates Engineering Realism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harmon, Corey C.; Warfield, Keith R.; Rosenberg, Leigh S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the JPL Cost Engineering Group (CEG) cost risk analysis approach that accounts for all three types of cost risk. It will also describe the evaluation of historical cost data upon which this method is based. This investigation is essential in developing a method that is rooted in engineering realism and produces credible, dependable results to aid decision makers.

  1. Cost Information and Formula Funding: New Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Richard H., Ed.; Topping, James R., Ed.

    A report based on a conference on the impact of cost information on statewide budgeting and planning is presented. The conference was organized around case-study reports on the use of cost information in higher education budgeting in Florida, Indiana, Washington, and Wisconsin. Rather than publishing convention proceedings, the case studies were…

  2. An approach to software cost estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgarry, F.; Page, J.; Card, D.; Rohleder, M.; Church, V.

    1984-01-01

    A general procedure for software cost estimation in any environment is outlined. The basic concepts of work and effort estimation are explained, some popular resource estimation models are reviewed, and the accuracy of source estimates is discussed. A software cost prediction procedure based on the experiences of the Software Engineering Laboratory in the flight dynamics area and incorporating management expertise, cost models, and historical data is described. The sources of information and relevant parameters available during each phase of the software life cycle are identified. The methodology suggested incorporates these elements into a customized management tool for software cost prediction. Detailed guidelines for estimation in the flight dynamics environment developed using this methodology are presented.

  3. A team approach to cost containment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jeni

    2008-04-01

    Strategies for involving clinicians in efforts to reduce labor and supply chain expenses include: Working with nurse managers to develop an operations or productivity report that is truly useful. Establishing biweekly reporting of labor utilization per unit. Adding clinicians to your materials management and finance teams. Helping physicians understand the cost profiles of the products they are using and their impact on cost of care. Being patient while securing buy-in.

  4. Risk evaluation: A cost-oriented approach

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, B.H.

    1998-02-03

    This method provides a structured and cost-oriented way to determine risks associated with loss and destruction of industrial security interests consisting of material assets and human resources. Loss and destruction are assumed to be adversary perpetrated, high-impact events in which the health and safety of people or high-value property is at risk. This concept provides a process for: (1) assessing effectiveness of all integrated protection system, which includes facility operations, safety, emergency and security systems, and (2) a qualitative prioritization scheme to determine the level of consequence relative to cost and subsequent risk. The method allows managers the flexibility to establish asset protection appropriate to programmatic requirements and priorities and to decide if funding is appropriate. The evaluation objectives are to: (1) provide for a systematic, qualitative tabletop process to estimate the potential for an undesirable event and its impact; and (2) identify ineffective protection and cost-effective solutions.

  5. The Story of Astronomy: An Activities-Based, Historical Approach to Classroom Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirshfeld, Alan W.

    2006-12-01

    Missing from the standard introductory astronomy course is the essential “story line” that tells how astronomers came to know so much about the universe. Without such context, students find it hard to engage with the presentation of scientific principles and knowledge, no matter how logically organized. Through a series of in-class, modestly mathematical, paper-and-pencil activities, coupled with brief lectures and available online simulations, non-science students can recapitulate the epic advancement of astronomical thought, from the rudimentary observations of prehistoric skywatchers to the development of modern astrophysics. Examples of the activities are presented. The new approach was implemented during the Fall 2006 semester in the introductory astronomy course at UMass Dartmouth, to a total of 250 students. As structured, the course can serve both as a stand-alone, one-semester introduction to science and an effective lead-in to a “standard” introductory astronomy course.

  6. Extending the Aircraft Availability Model to a Constrained Depot Environment Using Activity-Based Costing and the Theory of Constraints

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-06-01

    decreasing I and OE. 5 Authors such as Kaplan and Kee have an integrated vision of both ABC and TOC methodologies. On the one hand, the TOC...the differences in product cost treatment and time frame visions under both ABC and TOC methodologies are interrelated. Most of the OE are...Financieras en la Practica. Inversion y Financiacion en la Empresa . Bilbao: Editorial Desclee de Brouwer, S.A., 1998. Hirsch, Maurice H., Jr. and

  7. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-28

    When someone mentions integration costs, thoughts of the costs of integrating renewable generation into an existing system come to mind. We think about how variability and uncertainty can increase power system cycling costs as increasing amounts of wind or solar generation are incorporated into the generation mix. However, seldom do we think about what happens to system costs when new baseload generation is added to an existing system or when generation self-schedules. What happens when a highly flexible combined-cycle plant is added? Do system costs go up, or do they go down? Are other, non-cycling, maintenance costs impacted? In this paper we investigate six technologies and operating practices--including VG, baseload generation, generation mix, gas prices, self-scheduling, and fast-start generation--and how changes in these areas can impact a system's operating costs. This paper provides a working definition of integration costs and four components of variable costs. It describes the study approach and how a production cost modeling-based method was used to determine the cost effects, and, as a part of the study approach section, it describes the test system and data used for the comparisons. Finally, it presents the research findings, and, in closing, suggests three areas for future work.

  8. A top-down approach to heliostat cost reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larmuth, James N.; Landamn, Willem A.; Gauché, Paul

    2016-05-01

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has funded a South African central receiver collector technology development project, called Helio100. The project aims to provide South Africa's first commercially viable heliostat technology, which is both low in cost and offers high local content potential. A top-down approach is employed for heliostat cost reduction. This approach incorporates interlinked tools which move from high level cost analyses based on qualitative data during early stages of conceptual design, to detailed quantitative analyses in the final stages of design. Low cost heliostat designs are realized by the incorporation of both a top-down and bottom-up method. The current H100 design results in heliostat costs of 155/m2 at 20 000 units p.a. while further industrialisation results in heliostat costs of 126/m2 at 20 000 units.

  9. Flipping the Calculus Classroom: A Cost-Effective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses a cost-effective approach to flipping the calculus classroom. In particular, the emphasis is on low-cost choices, both monetarily and with regards to faculty time, that make the daunting task of flipping a course manageable for a single instructor. Student feedback and overall impressions are also presented.

  10. An Approach to Query Cost Modelling in Numeric Databases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvelin, Kalervo

    1989-01-01

    Examines factors that determine user charges based on query processing costs in numeric databases, and analyzes the problem of estimating such charges in advance. An approach to query cost estimation is presented which is based on the relational data model and the query optimization, cardinality estimation, and file design techniques developed in…

  11. Considering a Cost Analysis Project? A Planned Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parish, Mina; Teetor, Travis

    2006-01-01

    As resources become more constrained in the library community, many organizations are finding that they need to have a better understanding of their costs. To this end, this article will present one approach to conducting a cost analysis (including questions to ask yourself, project team makeup, organizational support, and data organization). We…

  12. Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Approaches to Cost Savings: A Compendium

    SciTech Connect

    M Weimar

    1998-12-10

    This publication summarizes and contains the original documentation for understanding why the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) privatization approach provides cost savings and the different approaches that could be used in calculating cost savings for the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Phase I contract. The initial section summarizes the approaches in the different papers. The appendices are the individual source papers which have been reviewed by individuals outside of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the TWRS Program. Appendix A provides a theoretical basis for and estimate of the level of savings that can be" obtained from a fixed-priced contract with performance risk maintained by the contractor. Appendix B provides the methodology for determining cost savings when comparing a fixed-priced contractor with a Management and Operations (M&O) contractor (cost-plus contractor). Appendix C summarizes the economic model used to calculate cost savings and provides hypothetical output from preliminary calculations. Appendix D provides the summary of the approach for the DOE-Richland Operations Office (RL) estimate of the M&O contractor to perform the same work as BNFL Inc. Appendix E contains information on cost growth and per metric ton of glass costs for high-level waste at two other DOE sites, West Valley and Savannah River. Appendix F addresses a risk allocation analysis of the BNFL proposal that indicates,that the current approach is still better than the alternative.

  13. Cost comparison of open approach, transoral laser microsurgery and transoral robotic surgery for partial and total laryngectomies.

    PubMed

    Dombrée, Manon; Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Janne, Pascal; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2014-10-01

    Activity-based costing is used to give a better insight into the actual cost structure of open, transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) and transoral robotic surgery (TORS) supraglottic and total laryngectomies. Cost data were obtained from hospital administration, personnel and vendor structured interviews. A process map identified 17 activities, to which the detailed cost data are related. One-way sensitivity analyses on the patient throughput, the cost of the equipment or operative times were performed. The total cost for supraglottic open (135-203 min), TLM (110-210 min) and TORS (35-130 min) approaches were 3,349 euro (3,193-3,499 euro), 3,461 euro (3,207-3,664 euro) and 5,650 euro (4,297-5,974 euro), respectively. For total laryngectomy, the overall cost were 3,581 euro (3,215-3,846 euro) for open and 6,767 euro (6,418-7,389 euro) for TORS. TORS cost is mostly influenced by equipment (54%) where the other procedures are predominantly determined by personnel cost (about 45%). Even when we doubled the yearly case-load, used the shortest operative times or a calculation without robot equipment costs we did not reach cost equivalence. TORS is more expensive than standard approaches and mainly influenced by purchase and maintenance costs and the use of proprietary instruments. Further trials on long-term outcomes and costs following TORS are needed to evaluate its cost-effectiveness.

  14. MESA - A new approach to low cost scientific spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keyes, G. W.; Case, C. M.

    1982-09-01

    Today, the greatest obstacle to science and exploration in space is its cost. The present investigation is concerned with approaches for reducing this cost. Trends in the scientific spacecraft market are examined, and a description is presented for the MESA space platform concept. The cost drivers are considered, taking into account planning, technical aspects, and business factors. It is pointed out that the primary function of the MESA concept is to provide a satellite system at the lowest possible price. In order to reach this goal an attempt is made to benefit from all of the considered cost drivers. It is to be tried to work with the customer early in the mission analysis stage in order to assist in finding the right compromise between mission cost and return. A three phase contractual arrangement is recommended for MESA platforms. The phases are related to mission feasibility, specification definition, and design and development. Modular kit design promotes flexibility at low cost.

  15. Cost approach of health care entity intangible asset valuation.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    In the valuation synthesis and conclusion process, the analyst should consider the following question: Does the selected valuation approach(es) and method(s) accomplish the analyst's assignment? Also, does the selected valuation approach and method actually quantify the desired objective of the intangible asset analysis? The analyst should also consider if the selected valuation approach and method analyzes the appropriate bundle of legal rights. The analyst should consider if there were sufficient empirical data available to perform the selected valuation approach and method. The valuation synthesis should consider if there were sufficient data available to make the analyst comfortable with the value conclusion. The valuation analyst should consider if the selected approach and method will be understandable to the intended audience. In the valuation synthesis and conclusion, the analyst should also consider which approaches and methods deserve the greatest consideration with respect to the intangible asset's RUL. The intangible asset RUL is a consideration of each valuation approach. In the income approach, the RUL may affect the projection period for the intangible asset income subject to either yield capitalization or direct capitalization. In the cost approach, the RUL may affect the total amount of obsolescence, if any, from the estimate cost measure (that is, the intangible reproduction cost new or replacement cost new). In the market approach, the RUL may effect the selection, rejection, and/or adjustment of the comparable or guideline intangible asset sale and license transactional data. The experienced valuation analyst will use professional judgment to weight the various value indications to conclude a final intangible asset value, based on: The analyst's confidence in the quantity and quality of available data; The analyst's level of due diligence performed on that data; The relevance of the valuation method to the intangible asset life cycle stage and

  16. Improving the accuracy of admitted subacute clinical costing: an action research approach.

    PubMed

    Hakkennes, Sharon; Arblaster, Ross; Lim, Kim

    2016-08-29

    Objective The aim of the present study was to determine whether action research could be used to improve the breadth and accuracy of clinical costing data in an admitted subacute settingMethods The setting was a 100-bed in-patient rehabilitation centre. Using a pre-post study design all admitted subacute separations during the 2011-12 financial year were eligible for inclusion. An action research framework aimed at improving clinical costing methodology was developed and implemented.Results In all, 1499 separations were included in the study. A medical record audit of a random selection of 80 separations demonstrated that the use of an action research framework was effective in improving the breadth and accuracy of the costing data. This was evidenced by a significant increase in the average number of activities costed, a reduction in the average number of activities incorrectly costed and a reduction in the average number of activities missing from the costing, per episode of care.Conclusions Engaging clinicians and cost centre managers was effective in facilitating the development of robust clinical costing data in an admitted subacute setting. Further investigation into the value of this approach across other care types and healthcare services is warranted.What is known about this topic? Accurate clinical costing data is essential for informing price models used in activity-based funding. In Australia, there is currently a lack of robust admitted subacute cost data to inform the price model for this care type.What does this paper add? The action research framework presented in this study was effective in improving the breadth and accuracy of clinical costing data in an admitted subacute setting.What are the implications for practitioners? To improve clinical costing practices, health services should consider engaging key stakeholders, including clinicians and cost centre managers, in reviewing clinical costing methodology. Robust clinical costing data has the

  17. New Approaches in Reuseable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  18. New Approaches in Reusable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  19. Thresholds for the cost-effectiveness of interventions: alternative approaches.

    PubMed

    Marseille, Elliot; Larson, Bruce; Kazi, Dhruv S; Kahn, James G; Rosen, Sydney

    2015-02-01

    Many countries use the cost-effectiveness thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization's Choosing Interventions that are Cost-Effective project (WHO-CHOICE) when evaluating health interventions. This project sets the threshold for cost-effectiveness as the cost of the intervention per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted less than three times the country's annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Highly cost-effective interventions are defined as meeting a threshold per DALY averted of once the annual GDP per capita. We argue that reliance on these thresholds reduces the value of cost-effectiveness analyses and makes such analyses too blunt to be useful for most decision-making in the field of public health. Use of these thresholds has little theoretical justification, skirts the difficult but necessary ranking of the relative values of locally-applicable interventions and omits any consideration of what is truly affordable. The WHO-CHOICE thresholds set such a low bar for cost-effectiveness that very few interventions with evidence of efficacy can be ruled out. The thresholds have little value in assessing the trade-offs that decision-makers must confront. We present alternative approaches for applying cost-effectiveness criteria to choices in the allocation of health-care resources.

  20. NASA operations: An agency wide approach to reduce cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squibb, Gael F.

    1996-01-01

    The NASA Space Operations Management Office (SOMO) is presented. The SOMO concept is based on continuing the distributed participation of the various NASA field centers and agencies, while employing consolidated management through a single lead center. The aim is to determine the duplicity and the overlap between the different agencies that independently developed their own operations management approaches in order to enable more cost effective mission operations by providing common services to the NASA programs. The space operations management will be performed in a distributed manner with a greater degree of contractor involvement than in the past. The changes, approaches and anticipated benefits of this approach to operations are discussed.

  1. Quantifying the Direct Transfer Costs of Common Brushtail Possum Dispersal using Least-Cost Modelling: A Combined Cost-Surface and Accumulated-Cost Dispersal Kernel Approach

    PubMed Central

    Etherington, Thomas R.; Perry, George L. W.; Cowan, Phil E.; Clout, Mick N.

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal costs need to be quantified from empirical data and incorporated into dispersal models to improve our understanding of the dispersal process. We are interested in quantifying how landscape features affect the immediately incurred direct costs associated with the transfer of an organism from one location to another. We propose that least-cost modelling is one method that can be used to quantify direct transfer costs. By representing the landscape as a cost-surface, which describes the costs associated with traversing different landscape features, least-cost modelling is often applied to measure connectivity between locations in accumulated-cost units that are a combination of both the distance travelled and the costs traversed. However, we take an additional step by defining an accumulated-cost dispersal kernel, which describes the probability of dispersal in accumulated-cost units. This novel combination of cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel enables the transfer stage of dispersal to incorporate the effects of landscape features by modifying the direction of dispersal based on the cost-surface and the distance of dispersal based on the accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. We apply this approach to the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) within the North Island of New Zealand, demonstrating how commonly collected empirical dispersal data can be used to calibrate a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. Our results indicate that considerable improvements could be made to the modelling of the transfer stage of possum dispersal by using a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel instead of a more traditional straight-line distance based dispersal kernel. We envisage a variety of ways in which the information from this novel combination of a cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel could be gainfully incorporated into existing dispersal models. This would enable more realistic

  2. Applying electrical utility least-cost approach to transportation planning

    SciTech Connect

    McCoy, G.A.; Growdon, K.; Lagerberg, B.

    1994-09-01

    Members of the energy and environmental communities believe that parallels exist between electrical utility least-cost planning and transportation planning. In particular, the Washington State Energy Strategy Committee believes that an integrated and comprehensive transportation planning process should be developed to fairly evaluate the costs of both demand-side and supply-side transportation options, establish competition between different travel modes, and select the mix of options designed to meet system goals at the lowest cost to society. Comparisons between travel modes are also required under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). ISTEA calls for the development of procedures to compare demand management against infrastructure investment solutions and requires the consideration of efficiency, socioeconomic and environmental factors in the evaluation process. Several of the techniques and approaches used in energy least-cost planning and utility peak demand management can be incorporated into a least-cost transportation planning methodology. The concepts of avoided plants, expressing avoidable costs in levelized nominal dollars to compare projects with different on-line dates and service lives, the supply curve, and the resource stack can be directly adapted from the energy sector.

  3. Design optimization for cost and quality: The robust design approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit

    1990-01-01

    Designing reliable, low cost, and operable space systems has become the key to future space operations. Designing high quality space systems at low cost is an economic and technological challenge to the designer. A systematic and efficient way to meet this challenge is a new method of design optimization for performance, quality, and cost, called Robust Design. Robust Design is an approach for design optimization. It consists of: making system performance insensitive to material and subsystem variation, thus allowing the use of less costly materials and components; making designs less sensitive to the variations in the operating environment, thus improving reliability and reducing operating costs; and using a new structured development process so that engineering time is used most productively. The objective in Robust Design is to select the best combination of controllable design parameters so that the system is most robust to uncontrollable noise factors. The robust design methodology uses a mathematical tool called an orthogonal array, from design of experiments theory, to study a large number of decision variables with a significantly small number of experiments. Robust design also uses a statistical measure of performance, called a signal-to-noise ratio, from electrical control theory, to evaluate the level of performance and the effect of noise factors. The purpose is to investigate the Robust Design methodology for improving quality and cost, demonstrate its application by the use of an example, and suggest its use as an integral part of space system design process.

  4. Approaches to the design of low-cost HUD systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisely, Paul L.; Bleha, Willaim P.

    2014-06-01

    Since their inception during the Second World War in the simple gyro reflector gun sights of combat aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, HUDs have been developed to achieve ever greater capability and performance, initially in military applications but in the final quarter of the last century for civil applications. With increased performance and capability came increased complexity and an attendant steady increase in cost such that HUDs in civil applications are only to be found in some large passenger and high end business jets. The physical volume of current solutions also has a significant impact on where they may be fitted and this paper discusses techniques and approaches to reduce the volume and costs associated with HUD implementation thereby making the operational and safety benefits of HUD available to a broader range of applications in lower cost airframes.

  5. A Novel Approach for a Low-Cost Deployable Antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Amend, Chris; Nurnberger, Michael; Oppenheimer, Paul; Koss, Steve; Purdy, Bill

    2010-01-01

    The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has designed, built, and fully qualified a low cost, low Passive Intermodulation (PIM) 12-foot (3.66-m) diameter deployable ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna for the Tacsat-4 program. The design utilized novel approaches in reflector material and capacitive coupling techniques. This paper discusses major design trades, unique design characteristics, and lessons learned from the development of the Tacsat 4 deployable antenna. This antenna development was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

  6. Measuring Inflation in Public Libraries: A Comparison of Two Approaches, the Input Cost Index and the Cost of Services Index.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay C.; Vergun, Robert

    1999-01-01

    Presents two approaches to measuring the inflation faced by public libraries: (1) an approach based on a fixed market basket of the prices of library inputs; and (2) an approach based on an econometric model of library services and costs that yields a costs of services index. Discusses uses of both models. (SLD)

  7. Assessing the Costs of Adequacy in California Public Schools: A Cost Function Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imazeki, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    In this study, a cost function is used to estimate the costs for California districts to meet the achievement goals set out for them by the state. I calculate estimates of base costs (i.e., per pupil costs in a district with relatively low levels of student need) and marginal costs (i.e., the additional costs associated with specific student…

  8. Cost estimation: An expert-opinion approach. [cost analysis of research projects using the Delphi method (forecasting)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffalano, C.; Fogleman, S.; Gielecki, M.

    1976-01-01

    A methodology is outlined which can be used to estimate the costs of research and development projects. The approach uses the Delphi technique a method developed by the Rand Corporation for systematically eliciting and evaluating group judgments in an objective manner. The use of the Delphi allows for the integration of expert opinion into the cost-estimating process in a consistent and rigorous fashion. This approach can also signal potential cost-problem areas. This result can be a useful tool in planning additional cost analysis or in estimating contingency funds. A Monte Carlo approach is also examined.

  9. Activity-Based Management System Implementation in Higher Education Institution: Benefits and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Noor Azizi

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how activity-based costing (ABC) technique can be applied in the context of higher education institutions. It also discusses the obstacles and challenges to the successful implementation of activity-based management (ABM) in the higher education environment. Design/methodology/approach: This paper…

  10. Airborne LaCoste & Romberg gravimetry: a space domain approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbasi, M.; Barriot, J. P.; Verdun, J.

    2007-04-01

    This paper introduces a new approach to reduce the airborne gravity data acquired by a LaCoste & Romberg (L&R) air/sea gravimeter, or other similar gravimeters. The acceleration exerted on the gravimeter is the sum of gravity and the vertical and Eötvös accelerations of the aircraft. The L&R gravimeter outputs are: (1) the beam position, (2) the spring tension and (3) the cross coupling. Vertical and Eötvös accelerations are computed from GPS-derived aircraft positions. However, the vertical perturbing acceleration sensed by the gravimeter is not the same as the one sensed by the aircraft (via GPS). A determination of the aircraft-to-sensor transfer function is necessary. The second-order differential equation of the motion of the gravimeter’s beam mixes all the input and output parameters of the gravimeter. Conventionally, low-pass filtering in the frequency domain is used to extract the gravity signal, the filter being applied to each flight-line individually. By transforming the differential equation into an integral equation and by introducing related covariance matrices, we develop a new filtering method based on a least-squares approach that is able to take into account, in one stage, the data corresponding to all flight-lines. The a posteriori covariance matrix of the estimated gravity signal is an internal criterion of the precision of the method. As an example, we estimate the gravity values along the flight-lines from an airborne gravity survey over the Alps and introduce an a priori covariance matrix of the gravity disturbances from a global geopotential model. This matrix is used to regularize the ill-posed Fredholm integral equation introduced in this paper.

  11. A versatile, low-cost approach to dynamic light scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pristinski, Denis; Chastek, Thomas Q.

    2009-04-01

    We describe a method for constructing a fiber-optic-based dynamic light scattering (DLS) instrument from commonly available components, without a need for custom-made parts. Details are provided that allow for academic researchers from diverse backgrounds to build this DLS instrument with minimal effort and at a low cost. This approach, while providing good sensitivity and high accuracy (e.g., measuring the size of latex standards to within 1% relative standard deviation), possesses several advantages not found, in their entirety, in existing DLS instrumentation. It was observed that, even though an arbitrary scattering angle could be selected, aligning this instrument to obtain optimal detection efficiency can be completed in as little as a few minutes. Also, complications associated with light refraction at the sample cell interface are avoided. Small volumes (<10 µL) can be measured, for example, by hanging a solution droplet from the fiber optic probe tips. In addition, use of fiber optic probes allows the beam path length to be as short as 1.6 mm while measuring at 90°, which reduces the likelihood of multiple scattering. With minimal customization, compact submersible probes and a portable battery-operated DLS instrument were made as examples of potential implementation. Finally, this approach is versatile, and can be incorporated into a wide variety of reactors, for in situ characterization, and other instrumentation for hybrid measurements. This type of in situ measurement was conducted after mounting the DLS probes inside a standard three-neck flask. This allowed for direct monitoring of the growth of silica nanoparticles prepared via Stöber synthesis.

  12. A pragmatist's approach to pathology costing: the Welsh Datatree project.

    PubMed Central

    Gozzard, D. I.; Macaulay, M. E.; Nuttall, D. S.; Jones, E. R.

    1992-01-01

    The Datatree costing project in Wales has provided the Welsh pathology laboratories with a standard costing package that allows pathologists to understand how their own laboratory's test costs are compiled. The software provides answers to the question "what if? ..." and shows instantly the effect of salary or consumable cost alterations. Resource management at a laboratory level is enhanced by a greater knowledge of costs, particularly in relation to volumes of work. Perhaps this is one of the stepping-stones across the river to the "open market." In the United Kingdom NHS any information of this kind must be regarded as invaluable. PMID:1401171

  13. A market approach to better care at lower cost.

    PubMed

    Antos, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    The Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage in the United States but did little to address the structural problems that plague the U.S. health care system. Controlling cost while maintaining or improving access to quality care requires a more fundamental reform based on market principles. Such an approach means aligning the financial incentives of patients and providers to promote smarter spending. It also requires better information and more flexible regulation to promote well-functioning competitive markets. Key elements of these reforms include setting reasonable limits on subsidies for Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; modernizing the Medicare program and adopting reforms that promote competition between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage; allowing greater flexibility for states in running their Medicaid programs; enacting smarter regulations to protect consumers without imposing greater inefficiency on the health market; and promoting more direct consumer involvement in all phases of their health and health care. These changes will challenge academic medical centers as a new era of creativity and competition emerges in the health care market.

  14. Parts and Components Reliability Assessment: A Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia

    2009-01-01

    System reliability assessment is a methodology which incorporates reliability analyses performed at parts and components level such as Reliability Prediction, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to assess risks, perform design tradeoffs, and therefore, to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success. The system reliability is used to optimize the product design to accommodate today?s mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. Stand ard based reliability assessment is an effective approach consisting of reliability predictions together with other reliability analyses for electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical (EEE) complex parts and components of large systems based on failure rate estimates published by the United States (U.S.) military or commercial standards and handbooks. Many of these standards are globally accepted and recognized. The reliability assessment is especially useful during the initial stages when the system design is still in the development and hard failure data is not yet available or manufacturers are not contractually obliged by their customers to publish the reliability estimates/predictions for their parts and components. This paper presents a methodology to assess system reliability using parts and components reliability estimates to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success in an efficient manner, low cost, and tight schedule.

  15. Ethical objections against including life-extension costs in cost-effectiveness analysis: a consistent approach.

    PubMed

    Gandjour, Afschin; Müller, Dirk

    2014-10-01

    One of the major ethical concerns regarding cost-effectiveness analysis in health care has been the inclusion of life-extension costs ("it is cheaper to let people die"). For this reason, many analysts have opted to rule out life-extension costs from the analysis. However, surprisingly little has been written in the health economics literature regarding this ethical concern and the resulting practice. The purpose of this work was to present a framework and potential solution for ethical objections against life-extension costs. This work found three levels of ethical concern: (i) with respect to all life-extension costs (disease-related and -unrelated); (ii) with respect to disease-unrelated costs only; and (iii) regarding disease-unrelated costs plus disease-related costs not influenced by the intervention. Excluding all life-extension costs for ethical reasons would require-for reasons of consistency-a simultaneous exclusion of savings from reducing morbidity. At the other extreme, excluding only disease-unrelated life-extension costs for ethical reasons would require-again for reasons of consistency-the exclusion of health gains due to treatment of unrelated diseases. Therefore, addressing ethical concerns regarding the inclusion of life-extension costs necessitates fundamental changes in the calculation of cost effectiveness.

  16. A Robust Design Approach to Cost Estimation: Solar Energy for Marine Corps Expeditionary Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-14

    Resources Energy Technology Basics Electricity Grid Basics Costs Renewable Technologies Biomass Geothermal Solar Concentrators Solar Photovoltaics Wind...SPONSORED REPORT SERIES A Robust Design Approach to Cost Estimation: Solar Energy for Marine Corps Expeditionary Operations 14 July 2014...SUBTITLE A Robust Design Approach to Cost Estimation: Solar Energy for Marine Corps Expeditionary Operations 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c

  17. Commercial agencies and surrogate motherhood: a transaction cost approach.

    PubMed

    Galbraith, Mhairi; McLachlan, Hugh V; Swales, J Kim

    2005-03-01

    In this paper we investigate the legal arrangements involved in UK surrogate motherhood from a transaction-cost perspective. We outline the specific forms the transaction costs take and critically comment on the way in which the UK institutional and organisational arrangements at present adversely influence transaction costs. We then focus specifically on the potential role of surrogacy agencies and look at UK and US evidence on commercial and voluntary agencies. Policy implications follow.

  18. New Approaches in Usable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model and use genetic algorithms to explore results. A strong...and Demonstrators White = Not Included Non-recurring Costs Design, Development, Test & Engineering (DDT&E) thru 1st unit; establish production... genetic algorithms) where some output of up-front cost is plotted against some output of far term cost (or ~ benefit). (Note that inputs are

  19. The REFSAT approach to low-cost GPS terminals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sennott, J. W.; Choudhury, A. K.; Taylor, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    A concept utilizing a geostationary reference satellite (REFSAT) that broadcasts navigation aiding signals to low cost civil user terminals which employ the constellation of 24 NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites for position determination is described. The signal acquisition, tracking and position fixing properties of such low cost, dual channel, L-band, civil user receiver designed to receive both GPS navigation and REFSAT navigation aiding signals is presented. REFSAT reduces the cost of user equipment.

  20. Comparing top-down and bottom-up costing approaches for economic evaluation within social welfare.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Tina M

    2011-10-01

    This study compares two approaches to the estimation of social welfare intervention costs: one "top-down" and the other "bottom-up" for a group of social welfare clients with severe problem behavior participating in a randomized trial. Intervention costs ranging over a two-year period were compared by intervention category (foster care placement, institutional placement, mentorship services, individual support services and structured support services), estimation method (price, micro costing, average cost) and treatment group (intervention, control). Analyses are based upon 2007 costs for 156 individuals receiving 404 interventions. Overall, both approaches were found to produce reliable estimates of intervention costs at the group level but not at the individual level. As choice of approach can greatly impact the estimate of mean difference, adjustment based on estimation approach should be incorporated into sensitivity analyses. Analysts must take care in assessing the purpose and perspective of the analysis when choosing a costing approach for use within economic evaluation.

  1. The Cost Effectiveness of 22 Approaches for Raising Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2010-01-01

    Review of cost-effectiveness studies suggests that rapid assessment is more cost effective with regard to student achievement than comprehensive school reform (CSR), cross-age tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, a longer school day, increases in teacher education, teacher experience or teacher salaries, summer school, more rigorous math…

  2. Calculation of the Average Cost per Case of Dengue Fever in Mexico Using a Micro-Costing Approach

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The increasing burden of dengue fever (DF) in the Americas, and the current epidemic in previously unaffected countries, generate major costs for national healthcare systems. There is a need to quantify the average cost per DF case. In Mexico, few data are available on costs, despite DF being endemic in some areas. Extrapolations from studies in other countries may prove unreliable and are complicated by the two main Mexican healthcare systems (the Secretariat of Health [SS] and the Mexican Social Security Institute [IMSS]). The present study aimed to generate specific average DF cost-per-case data for Mexico using a micro-costing approach. Methods Expected medical costs associated with an ideal management protocol for DF (denoted ´ideal costs´) were compared with the medical costs of current treatment practice (denoted ´real costs´) in 2012. Real cost data were derived from chart review of DF cases and interviews with patients and key personnel from 64 selected hospitals and ambulatory care units in 16 states for IMSS and SS. In both institutions, ideal and real costs were estimated using the program, actions, activities, tasks, inputs (PAATI) approach, a micro-costing technique developed by us. Results Clinical pathways were obtained for 1,168 patients following review of 1,293 charts. Ideal and real costs for SS patients were US$165.72 and US$32.60, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$587.77 and US$490.93, respectively, in the hospital setting. For IMSS patients, ideal and real costs were US$337.50 and US$92.03, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$2,042.54 and US$1,644.69 in the hospital setting. Conclusions The markedly higher ideal versus real costs may indicate deficiencies in the actual care of patients with DF. It may be necessary to derive better estimates with micro-costing techniques and compare the ideal protocol with current practice when calculating these costs, as patients do not always receive optimal care

  3. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report 4: Low cost management approach and recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An analysis of low cost management approaches for the development of the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) is presented. The factors of the program which tend to increase costs are identified. The NASA/Industry interface is stressed to show how the interface can be improved to produce reduced program costs. Techniques and examples of cost reduction which can be applied to the EOS program are tabulated. Specific recommendations for actions to be taken to reduce costs in prescribed areas are submitted.

  4. Full Costing of Business Programs: Benefits and Caveats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmons, Cynthia; Wright, Michael; Jones, Vernon

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: To suggest an approach to program costing that includes the approaches and concepts developed in activity based costing. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a hypothetical case study of an Executive MBA program as a means of illustrating the suggested approach to costing. Findings: The paper illustrates both the benefits of…

  5. Cost-effectiveness evaluation of an RCT in rehabilitation after lumbar spinal fusion: a low-cost, behavioural approach is cost-effective over individual exercise therapy.

    PubMed

    Søgaard, Rikke; Bünger, Cody E; Laurberg, Ida; Christensen, Finn B

    2008-02-01

    Recently, Christensen et al. reported the clinical effects of a low-cost rehabilitation program equally efficient to a relatively intensive program of individual, physiotherapist-guided exercise therapy. Yet, the low-cost approach is not fully supported as an optimal strategy until a full-scale economic evaluation, including extra-hospital effects such as service utilization in the primary health care sector and return-to-work, is conducted. The objective of this study was to conduct such evaluation i.e. investigate the cost-effectiveness of (1) a low-cost rehabilitation regimen with a behavioural element and (2) a regimen of individual exercise therapy, both in comparison with usual practice, from a health economic, societal perspective. Study design was a cost-effectiveness evaluation of an RCT with a 2-year follow-up. Ninety patients having had posterolateral or circumferential fusion (indicated by chronic low back pain and localized pathology) were randomized 3 months after their spinal fusion. Validated pain- and disability index scales were applied at baseline and at 2 years postoperative. Costs were measured in a full-scale societal perspective. The probability of the behavioural approach being cost-effective was close to 1 given pain as the prioritized effect measure, and 0.8 to 0.6 (dependent on willingness to pay per effect unit) given disability as the prioritized effect measure. The probability of the exercise therapy approach being cost-effective was modest due to inferior effectiveness. Results proved robust to relevant sensitivity analysis although a differentiated cost-effectiveness ratio between males and females was suspected. In conclusion, a simple behavioural extension, of setting up group meetings for patients, to a regimen with a strict physiotherapeutic focus was found cost-effective, whereas the cost-effectiveness of increasing frequency and guidance of a traditional physiotherapeutic regimen was unlikely in present trial setting.

  6. A dynamic activity-based population modelling approach to evaluate exposure to air pollution: Methods and application to a Dutch urban area

    SciTech Connect

    Beckx, Carolien Int Panis, Luc Arentze, Theo Janssens, Davy Torfs, Rudi; Broekx, Steven; Wets, Geert

    2009-04-15

    Recent air quality studies have highlighted that important differences in pollutant concentrations can occur over the day and between different locations. Traditional exposure analyses, however, assume that people are only exposed to pollution at their place of residence. Activity-based models, which recently have emerged from the field of transportation research, offer a technique to micro-simulate activity patterns of a population with a high resolution in space and time. Due to their characteristics, this model can be applied to establish a dynamic exposure assessment to air pollution. This paper presents a new exposure methodology, using a micro-simulator of activity-travel behaviour, to develop a dynamic exposure assessment. The methodology is applied to a Dutch urban area to demonstrate the advantages of the approach for exposure analysis. The results for the exposure to PM{sub 10} and PM{sub 2.5}, air pollutants considered as hazardous for human health, reveal large differences between the static and the dynamic approach, mainly due to an underestimation of the number of hours spent in the urban region by the static method. We can conclude that this dynamic population modelling approach is an important improvement over traditional methods and offers a new and more sensitive way for estimating population exposure to air pollution. In the light of the new European directive, aimed at reducing the exposure of the population to PM{sub 2.5}, this new approach contributes to a much more accurate exposure assessment that helps evaluate policies to reduce public exposure to air pollution.

  7. Low-Cost Approaches to Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squibb, G. F.; Edwards, C. D.; Schober, W. R.; Hooke, A. J.; Tai, W. S.; Pollmeier, V. M.

    2000-01-01

    The past decade has brought about a radical transformation in NASA's planetary exploration program. At the beginning of this decade, NASA was focused on the Cassini mission to Saturn. Following on the heels of the successful Voyager and Galileo missions, Cassini represents the culmination of an evolution towards successively larger, more complex, and more expensive spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft weighs in at over 5 metric tons, and carries an entry probe and a sophisticated suite of sensors supporting 27 different science investigations enabling a comprehensive scientific investigation of Saturn with a single spacecraft. The cost of this spacecraft exceeded $2B, including the cost of the large Titan IV launch vehicle. During Cassini development, NASA realized that it could no longer afford these "flagship" missions, and the agency moved aggressively towards a "faster, better, cheaper" design philosophy of focused science goals and simpler, rapidly-developed spacecraft, allowing much more frequent launches of smaller, lower-cost missions. The Mars Global Surveyor, launched in November 1996, is an example of this new paradigm. Developed in less than 3-years, MGS is only one-fifth the mass of Cassini, and only cost on the order of $220M. The reduced spacecraft mass allows use of the smaller, lower cost Delta launch vehicle. Currently in orbit about Mars, MGS carries a focused suite of six science instruments that are currently returning high-resolution remote sensing of the Martian surface. The future calls for continued even more aggressive mass and cost targets. Examples of these next-generation goals are embodied in the Mars Micromission spacecraft concept, targeted for launch in 2003. With a mass of only 200kg, this lightweight bus can be tailored to carry a variety of payloads to Mars or other inner-planet destinations. The design of the Micromission spacecraft enable them to be launched at extremely low cost as a secondary "piggyback" payload.

  8. An alternate approach to hospital cost control: the Rochester project.

    PubMed Central

    Sorensen, A A; Saward, E W

    1978-01-01

    The rapid escalation in health care costs has demonstrated a need to control costs in general and hospital costs in particular. In New York State, efforts at control have followed one of several paths, including reduction of Medicaid program expenditures, elimination of hospital beds, and prospective reimbursement of hospital costs. Although some success has been achieved in each of these areas, hospital costs containment has not been as successful as had been hoped. A new project called MAXICAP, being developed in the Rochester region, seeks to link payment with regional hospital planning. MAXICAP represents a voluntary attempt by hospitals, third party payers, planners, consumers, and governmental agencies to devise a prospective hospital payment system. Under this system community hospital plans in the Rochester region would be integrated and a cap imposed on both revenues and expenses for acute hospital care. The principal advantage of the MAXICAP is that it offers a mechanism for linking hospital planning with payment functions on a regional basis. The principal disadvantage is that the success of the MAXICAP depends upon the voluntary cooperation of the vast majority of the acute care hospitals in the area--hospitals that may be scattered throughout a relatively large region. PMID:98805

  9. Cost-Effective Marine Protection - A Pragmatic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojärvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect. PMID:26751965

  10. The Wacker approach to low-cost silicon material technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirtl, E.

    Proprietary, long-term materials research programs concerned with processes having high cost/energy-saving potential for the production of high-purity solar cell silicon are discussed. Program goals include the development of rugged, high-throughput rate production equipment, and impurity handling, or defect engineering standards, which will yield photovoltaic solar energy conversion efficiencies of a minimum of 10%. Different starting materials for a variety of low-cost crystallization techniques, the machining and slicing of silicon, and such diagnostic techniques as topographic methods, multielement analysis, identification of point defects, and photovoltaic evaluation, are discussed.

  11. A Robust Design Approach to Cost Estimation: Solar Energy for Marine Corps Expeditionary Operations (Briefing Charts)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-05-01

    days 75-134 for Salt Lake City, by year, 1961-2010 Cost projections: oil and solar 12 Oil cost projections (from USEIA, 2014) and PV array cost...A ROBUST DESIGN APPROACH TO COST ESTIMATION: SOLAR ENERGY FOR MARINE CORPS EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS S.M. Sanchez, M.M. Morse, S.C. Upton, M.L...DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE A Robust Design Approach to Cost Estimation: Solar Energy for Marine Corps

  12. A Semantics-Based Approach to Construction Cost Estimating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niknam, Mehrdad

    2015-01-01

    A construction project requires collaboration of different organizations such as owner, designer, contractor, and resource suppliers. These organizations need to exchange information to improve their teamwork. Understanding the information created in other organizations requires specialized human resources. Construction cost estimating is one of…

  13. Depth of manual dismantling analysis: a cost-benefit approach.

    PubMed

    Achillas, Ch; Aidonis, D; Vlachokostas, Ch; Karagiannidis, A; Moussiopoulos, N; Loulos, V

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents a decision support tool for manufacturers and recyclers towards end-of-life strategies for waste electrical and electronic equipment. A mathematical formulation based on the cost benefit analysis concept is herein analytically described in order to determine the parts and/or components of an obsolete product that should be either non-destructively recovered for reuse or be recycled. The framework optimally determines the depth of disassembly for a given product, taking into account economic considerations. On this basis, it embeds all relevant cost elements to be included in the decision-making process, such as recovered materials and (depreciated) parts/components, labor costs, energy consumption, equipment depreciation, quality control and warehousing. This tool can be part of the strategic decision-making process in order to maximize profitability or minimize end-of-life management costs. A case study to demonstrate the models' applicability is presented for a typical electronic product in terms of structure and material composition. Taking into account the market values of the pilot product's components, the manual disassembly is proven profitable with the marginal revenues from recovered reusable materials to be estimated at 2.93-23.06 €, depending on the level of disassembly.

  14. A novel approach to reduce greenhouse energy costs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irradiance, temperature, and carbon dioxide (CO2) are three environmental parameters growers can control during greenhouse production to alter crop growth, quality, and timing. Significant costs are incurred every year, especially during winter and early-spring production, to heat and light the gre...

  15. Approaches to Costing Adult Literacy Programmes, Especially in Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr-Hill, Roy; Roberts, Fiona; Currie, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Background: This study was originally prepared for the African Inter-Ministerial Conference on Literacy (September 2007) with the objective of analysing the costs of successful adult literacy programmes run both by government ministries, as well as international and national non-governmental organisations. Objectives: This study aims to increase…

  16. Different approaches to estimating transition costs in the electric- utility industry

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, L.W.

    1995-10-01

    The term ``transition costs`` describes the potential revenue shortfall (or welfare loss) a utility (or other actor) may experience through government-initiated deregulation of electricity generation. The potential for transition costs arises whenever a regulated industry is subject to competitive market forces as a result of explicit government action. Federal and state proposals to deregulate electricity generation sparked a national debate on transition costs in the electric-utility industry. Industry-wide transition cost estimates range from about $20 billion to $500 billion. Such disparate estimates raise important questions on estimation methods for decision makers. This report examines different approaches to estimating transition costs. The study has three objectives. First, we discuss the concept of transition cost. Second, we identify the major cost categories included in transition cost estimates and summarize the current debate on which specific costs are appropriately included in these estimates. Finally, we identify general and specific estimation approaches and assess their strengths and weaknesses. We relied primarily on the evidentiary records established at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission to identify major cost categories and specific estimation approaches. We also contacted regulatory commission staffs in ten states to ascertain estimation activities in each of these states. We refined a classification framework to describe and assess general estimation options. We subsequently developed and applied criteria to describe and assess specific estimation approaches proposed by federal regulators, state regulators, utilities, independent power companies, and consultants.

  17. Low Cost Manufacturing Approach of High Temperature PMC Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kannmacher, Kevin

    1997-01-01

    The overall objective is to develop a satisfactory sheet molding compound (SMC) of a high temperature polyimide, such as PMR-11-50, VCAP-75, or NB2-76, and to develop compression molding processing parameters for a random, chopped fiber, high temperature, sheet molding compound that will be more affordable than the traditional hand lay-up fabrication methods. Compression molding will reduce manufacturing costs of composites by: (1) minimizing the conventional machining required after fabrication due to the use of full 360 deg matched tooling, (2) reducing fabrication time by minimizing the intensive hand lay-up operations associated with individual ply fabrication techniques, such as ply orientation and ply count and (3) possibly reducing component mold time by advanced B-staging prior to molding. This program is an integral part of Allison's T406/AE engine family's growth plan, which will utilize technologies developed under NASA's Sub-sonic Transport (AST) programs, UHPTET initiatives, and internally through Allison's IR&D projects. Allison is aggressively pursuing this next generation of engines, with both commercial and military applications, by reducing the overall weight of the engine through the incorporation of advanced, lightweight, high temperature materials, such as polymer matrix composites. This infusion of new materials into the engine is also a major factor in reducing engine cost because it permits the use of physically smaller structural components to achieve the same thrust levels as the generation that it replaced. A lighter, more efficient propulsion system translates to a substantial cost and weight savings to an airframe's structure.

  18. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Wendy; Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-11-25

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students' recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes.

  19. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education

    PubMed Central

    Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-01-01

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students’ recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes. PMID:26839421

  20. Optimal Investment Under Transaction Costs: A Threshold Rebalanced Portfolio Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tunc, Sait; Donmez, Mehmet Ali; Kozat, Suleyman Serdar

    2013-06-01

    We study optimal investment in a financial market having a finite number of assets from a signal processing perspective. We investigate how an investor should distribute capital over these assets and when he should reallocate the distribution of the funds over these assets to maximize the cumulative wealth over any investment period. In particular, we introduce a portfolio selection algorithm that maximizes the expected cumulative wealth in i.i.d. two-asset discrete-time markets where the market levies proportional transaction costs in buying and selling stocks. We achieve this using "threshold rebalanced portfolios", where trading occurs only if the portfolio breaches certain thresholds. Under the assumption that the relative price sequences have log-normal distribution from the Black-Scholes model, we evaluate the expected wealth under proportional transaction costs and find the threshold rebalanced portfolio that achieves the maximal expected cumulative wealth over any investment period. Our derivations can be readily extended to markets having more than two stocks, where these extensions are pointed out in the paper. As predicted from our derivations, we significantly improve the achieved wealth over portfolio selection algorithms from the literature on historical data sets.

  1. Novel approach for low-cost muzzle flash detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voskoboinik, Asher

    2008-04-01

    A low-cost muzzle flash detection based on CMOS sensor technology is proposed. This low-cost technology makes it possible to detect various transient events with characteristic times between dozens of microseconds up to dozens of milliseconds while sophisticated algorithms successfully separate them from false alarms by utilizing differences in geometrical characteristics and/or temporal signatures. The proposed system consists of off-the-shelf smart CMOS cameras with built-in signal and image processing capabilities for pre-processing together with allocated memory for storing a buffer of images for further post-processing. Such a sensor does not require sending giant amounts of raw data to a real-time processing unit but provides all calculations in-situ where processing results are the output of the sensor. This patented CMOS muzzle flash detection concept exhibits high-performance detection capability with very low false-alarm rates. It was found that most false-alarms due to sun glints are from sources at distances of 500-700 meters from the sensor and can be distinguished by time examination techniques from muzzle flash signals. This will enable to eliminate up to 80% of falsealarms due to sun specular reflections in the battle field. Additional effort to distinguish sun glints from suspected muzzle flash signal is made by optimization of the spectral band in Near-IR region. The proposed system can be used for muzzle detection of small arms, missiles and rockets and other military applications.

  2. A Cost Effective System Design Approach for Critical Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, Larry Wayne; Cox, Gary; Nguyen, Hai

    2000-01-01

    NASA-JSC required an avionics platform capable of serving a wide range of applications in a cost-effective manner. In part, making the avionics platform cost effective means adhering to open standards and supporting the integration of COTS products with custom products. Inherently, operation in space requires low power, mass, and volume while retaining high performance, reconfigurability, scalability, and upgradability. The Universal Mini-Controller project is based on a modified PC/104-Plus architecture while maintaining full compatibility with standard COTS PC/104 products. The architecture consists of a library of building block modules, which can be mixed and matched to meet a specific application. A set of NASA developed core building blocks, processor card, analog input/output card, and a Mil-Std-1553 card, have been constructed to meet critical functions and unique interfaces. The design for the processor card is based on the PowerPC architecture. This architecture provides an excellent balance between power consumption and performance, and has an upgrade path to the forthcoming radiation hardened PowerPC processor. The processor card, which makes extensive use of surface mount technology, has a 166 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 32 Mbytes of error detected and corrected RAM, 8 Mbytes of Flash, and I Mbytes of EPROM, on a single PC/104-Plus card. Similar densities have been achieved with the quad channel Mil-Std-1553 card and the analog input/output cards. The power management built into the processor and its peripheral chip allows the power and performance of the system to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the application, allowing another dimension to the flexibility of the Universal Mini-Controller. Unique mechanical packaging allows the Universal Mini-Controller to accommodate standard COTS and custom oversized PC/104-Plus cards. This mechanical packaging also provides thermal management via conductive cooling of COTS boards, which are typically

  3. Mars Relay Spacecraft: A Low-Cost Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SvitekT, .; King, J.; Fulton, R.; McOmber, R.; Hastrup, R.; Miller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The next phase of Mars exploration will utilize numerous globally distributed small low-cost devices including landers penetrators microrovers and balloons. Direct-to-Earth communications links if required for these landers will drive the lander design for two reasons: a) mass and complexity needed for a steerable high-gain antenna and b) power requirements for a high-power amplifier (i.e. solar panel and battery mass). Total mass of the direct link hardware for several recent small-lander designs exceeded the mass of the scientific payload. Alternatively if communications are via a Mars-orbiting relay spacecraft resource requirements for the local UHF communication link are comparatively trivial: a simple whip antenna and less than 1 watt power. Clearly using a Mars relay spacecraft (MRS) is the preferred option if the MRS mission can be accomplished in an affordable and robust way. Our paper describes a point design for such a mission launched in the s001 or 2003 opportunity.

  4. Integrating Cost as an Independent Variable Analysis with Evolutionary Acquisition - A Multiattribute Design Evaluation Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-01

    within the Automated Cost Estimating Integrated Tools ( ACEIT ) software suite (version 5.x). With this capability, one can set cost targets or time...not allow the user to vary more than one decision variable. This limitation of the ACEIT approach thus hinders a holistic view when attempting to

  5. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA): A Practical and Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia L.; Ingegneri, Antonino J.; Djam, Melody

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP), a space exploration venture to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The LRO mission includes spacecraft developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and seven instruments built by GSFC, Russia, and contractors across the nation. LRO is defined as a measurement mission, not a science mission. It emphasizes the overall objectives of obtaining data to facilitate returning mankind safely to the Moon in preparation for an eventual manned mission to Mars. As the first mission in response to the President's commitment of the journey of exploring the solar system and beyond: returning to the Moon in the next decade, then venturing further into the solar system, ultimately sending humans to Mars and beyond, LRO has high-visibility to the public but limited resources and a tight schedule. This paper demonstrates how NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission project office incorporated reliability analyses in assessing risks and performing design tradeoffs to ensure mission success. Risk assessment is performed using NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8705.5 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Procedures for NASA Programs and Projects to formulate probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). As required, a limited scope PRA is being performed for the LRO project. The PRA is used to optimize the mission design within mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. The technique that LRO project office uses to perform PRA relies on the application of a component failure database to quantify the potential mission success risks. To ensure mission success in an efficient manner, low cost and tight schedule, the traditional reliability analyses, such as reliability predictions, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), are used to perform PRA for the large system of LRO with more than 14,000 piece parts and over 120 purchased or contractor

  6. Cost Allocation of Multiagency Water Resource Projects: Game Theoretic Approaches and Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lejano, Raul P.; Davos, Climis A.

    1995-05-01

    Water resource projects are often jointly carried out by a number of communities and agencies. Participation in a joint project depends on how costs are allocated among the participants and how cost shares compare with the cost of independent projects. Cooperative N-person game theory offers approaches which yield cost allocations that satisfy rationality conditions favoring participation. A new solution concept, the normalized nucleolus, is discussed and applied to a water reuse project in southern California. Results obtained with the normalized nucleolus are compared with those derived with more traditional solution concepts, namely, the nucleolus and the Shapley value.

  7. Cost Reporting at a Navy Branch Clinic

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-03-01

    focusing on fundamental cost ingredients . D. EVALUATING ACTIVITIES An activity is a process or workload pattern that can be quantified. Once the...Field [Group ISubgroup Activity Based Costing, James Brimson, Navy Branch Medical Clinic, Full Cost I I - Reporting, Fixed and Variable Costs 19...model, costs are disaggregated into fixed and variable components. Using the Brimson approach, the thesis further explores the application of activity

  8. A Project Management Approach to Using Simulation for Cost Estimation on Large, Complex Software Development Projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizell, Carolyn; Malone, Linda

    2007-01-01

    It is very difficult for project managers to develop accurate cost and schedule estimates for large, complex software development projects. None of the approaches or tools available today can estimate the true cost of software with any high degree of accuracy early in a project. This paper provides an approach that utilizes a software development process simulation model that considers and conveys the level of uncertainty that exists when developing an initial estimate. A NASA project will be analyzed using simulation and data from the Software Engineering Laboratory to show the benefits of such an approach.

  9. A time-and-motion approach to micro-costing of high-throughput genomic assays

    PubMed Central

    Costa, S.; Regier, D.A.; Meissner, B.; Cromwell, I.; Ben-Neriah, S.; Chavez, E.; Hung, S.; Steidl, C.; Scott, D.W.; Marra, M.A.; Peacock, S.J.; Connors, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Genomic technologies are increasingly used to guide clinical decision-making in cancer control. Economic evidence about the cost-effectiveness of genomic technologies is limited, in part because of a lack of published comprehensive cost estimates. In the present micro-costing study, we used a time-and-motion approach to derive cost estimates for 3 genomic assays and processes—digital gene expression profiling (gep), fluorescence in situ hybridization (fish), and targeted capture sequencing, including bioinformatics analysis—in the context of lymphoma patient management. Methods The setting for the study was the Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, British Columbia. Mean per-case hands-on time and resource measurements were determined from a series of direct observations of each assay. Per-case cost estimates were calculated using a bottom-up costing approach, with labour, capital and equipment, supplies and reagents, and overhead costs included. Results The most labour-intensive assay was found to be fish at 258.2 minutes per case, followed by targeted capture sequencing (124.1 minutes per case) and digital gep (14.9 minutes per case). Based on a historical case throughput of 180 cases annually, the mean per-case cost (2014 Canadian dollars) was estimated to be $1,029.16 for targeted capture sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, $596.60 for fish, and $898.35 for digital gep with an 807-gene code set. Conclusions With the growing emphasis on personalized approaches to cancer management, the need for economic evaluations of high-throughput genomic assays is increasing. Through economic modelling and budget-impact analyses, the cost estimates presented here can be used to inform priority-setting decisions about the implementation of such assays in clinical practice. PMID:27803594

  10. The common engine concept for ALS application - A cost reduction approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bair, E. K.; Schindler, C. M.

    1989-01-01

    Future launch systems require the application of propulsion systems which have been designed and developed to meet mission model needs while providing high degrees of reliability and cost effectiveness. Vehicle configurations which utilize different propellant combinations for booster and core stages can benefit from a common engine approach where a single engine design can be configured to operate on either set of propellants and thus serve as either a booster or core engine. Engine design concepts and mission application for a vehicle employing a common engine are discussed. Engine program cost estimates were made and cost savings, over the design and development of two unique engines, estimated.

  11. A low cost commercial approach to space systems development and operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, T. F.; Faget, M. A.; Allen, J. P.; Langstaff, D. H.

    In recent years a number of factors have led to increased attention to the lowering of costs for space flight systems and the operation of those systems. To that end Space Industries Inc. (SII), a small commercial space company based in Houston, Tex., is employing proven methods derived from over three decades of space flight development and space operations. These methods are based on a philosophy that is cost-sensitive focused with a primary objective to drive the cost of space systems and their operations down to the lowest level practical, consistent with the mission objectives, acceptable risk and safety considerations. This approach involves a process of: (1) addressing the basic requirements in the simplest and most cost effective manner, i.e. limit new development wherever possible, maximize use of proven and existing technology and eliminate non-essential requirements; (2) incorporation of proven industrial practices where possible, i.e. focus on performance envelopes (not on restrictive, specific and detailed specifications) and streamline program management, documentation, testing and other procedures; and (3) delivery of the "best" price, i.e. maximum customer utility at minimum cost with emphasis on customer service. The overriding factor, and indeed the most important aspect of the low cost commercial approach, is the willingness to accept greater risks to achieve all of the user's objectives. Our development approach is customer focused with emphasis on fully understanding the customer needs while striving constantly to limit new development requirements and, consequently, additional costs. This approach involves a process of designing for operations, i.e. low operation and life-cycle costs, while ensuring a reliability level consistent with customer budget constraints, mission objectives and safety consideration. In executing this low cost, customer-focused approach, we strive to maintain minimal overheads, simple interfaces, reduced documentation

  12. Using Top‐down and Bottom‐up Costing Approaches in LMICs: The Case for Using Both to Assess the Incremental Costs of New Technologies at Scale

    PubMed Central

    Sinanovic, Edina; Ramma, Lebogang; Foster, Nicola; Berrie, Leigh; Stevens, Wendy; Molapo, Sebaka; Marokane, Puleng; McCarthy, Kerrigan; Churchyard, Gavin; Vassall, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Purpose Estimating the incremental costs of scaling‐up novel technologies in low‐income and middle‐income countries is a methodologically challenging and substantial empirical undertaking, in the absence of routine cost data collection. We demonstrate a best practice pragmatic approach to estimate the incremental costs of new technologies in low‐income and middle‐income countries, using the example of costing the scale‐up of Xpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)/resistance to riframpicin (RIF) in South Africa. Materials and methods We estimate costs, by applying two distinct approaches of bottom‐up and top‐down costing, together with an assessment of processes and capacity. Results The unit costs measured using the different methods of bottom‐up and top‐down costing, respectively, are $US16.9 and $US33.5 for Xpert MTB/RIF, and $US6.3 and $US8.5 for microscopy. The incremental cost of Xpert MTB/RIF is estimated to be between $US14.7 and $US17.7. While the average cost of Xpert MTB/RIF was higher than previous studies using standard methods, the incremental cost of Xpert MTB/RIF was found to be lower. Conclusion Costs estimates are highly dependent on the method used, so an approach, which clearly identifies resource‐use data collected from a bottom‐up or top‐down perspective, together with capacity measurement, is recommended as a pragmatic approach to capture true incremental cost where routine cost data are scarce. PMID:26763594

  13. From Physical Process to Economic Cost - Integrated Approaches of Landslide Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klose, M.; Damm, B.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of landslides is complex in many respects, with landslide hazard and impact being dependent on a variety of factors. This obviously requires an integrated assessment for fundamental understanding of landslide risk. Integrated risk assessment, according to the approach presented in this contribution, implies combining prediction of future landslide occurrence with analysis of landslide impact in the past. A critical step for assessing landslide risk in integrated perspective is to analyze what types of landslide damage affected people and property in which way and how people contributed and responded to these damage types. In integrated risk assessment, the focus is on systematic identification and monetization of landslide damage, and analytical tools that allow deriving economic costs from physical landslide processes are at the heart of this approach. The broad spectrum of landslide types and process mechanisms as well as nonlinearity between landslide magnitude, damage intensity, and direct costs are some main factors explaining recent challenges in risk assessment. The two prevailing approaches for assessing the impact of landslides in economic terms are cost survey (ex-post) and risk analysis (ex-ante). Both approaches are able to complement each other, but yet a combination of them has not been realized so far. It is common practice today to derive landslide risk without considering landslide process-based cause-effect relationships, since integrated concepts or new modeling tools expanding conventional methods are still widely missing. The approach introduced in this contribution is based on a systematic framework that combines cost survey and GIS-based tools for hazard or cost modeling with methods to assess interactions between land use practices and landslides in historical perspective. Fundamental understanding of landslide risk also requires knowledge about the economic and fiscal relevance of landslide losses, wherefore analysis of their

  14. Application of a design-build-team approach to low cost and weight composite fuselage structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ilcewicz, L. B.; Walker, T. H.; Willden, K. S.; Swanson, G. D.; Truslove, G.; Metschan, S. L.; Pfahl, C. L.

    1991-01-01

    Relationships between manufacturing costs and design details must be understood to promote the application of advanced composite technologies to transport fuselage structures. A team approach, integrating the disciplines responsible for aircraft structural design and manufacturing, was developed to perform cost and weight trade studies for a twenty-foot diameter aft fuselage section. Baseline composite design and manufacturing concepts were selected for large quadrant panels in crown, side, and keel areas of the fuselage section. The associated technical issues were also identified. Detailed evaluation of crown panels indicated the potential for large weight savings and costs competitive with aluminum technology in the 1995 timeframe. Different processes and material forms were selected for the various elements that comprise the fuselage structure. Additional cost and weight savings potential was estimated for future advancements.

  15. The impact of trade costs on rare earth exports : a stochastic frontier estimation approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Sanyal, Prabuddha; Brady, Patrick Vane; Vugrin, Eric D.

    2013-09-01

    The study develops a novel stochastic frontier modeling approach to the gravity equation for rare earth element (REE) trade between China and its trading partners between 2001 and 2009. The novelty lies in differentiating betweenbehind the border' trade costs by China and theimplicit beyond the border costs' of China's trading partners. Results indicate that the significance level of the independent variables change dramatically over the time period. While geographical distance matters for trade flows in both periods, the effect of income on trade flows is significantly attenuated, possibly capturing the negative effects of financial crises in the developed world. Second, the total export losses due tobehind the border' trade costs almost tripled over the time period. Finally, looking atimplicit beyond the border' trade costs, results show China gaining in some markets, although it is likely that some countries are substituting away from Chinese REE exports.

  16. A Cost-Effectiveness Comparison of Two Approaches to Life Skills Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swisher, John D.; Smith, Edward A.; Vicary, Judith R.; Bechtel, Lori J.; Hopkins, Abigail M.

    2004-01-01

    This study compared the cost-effectiveness of Life Skills Training (LST) to a LST curriculum infusion approach (I-LST) and to control schools. Male and female seventh graders from nine rural schools (3 in each condition) were followed for two years. Path models were used to test the main effect and were modeled separately for males and females.…

  17. Proportional Transaction Costs in the Robust Control Approach to Option Pricing: The Uniqueness Theorem

    SciTech Connect

    El Farouq, Naïma; Bernhard, Pierre

    2015-10-15

    We prove the missing uniqueness theorem for the viscosity solution of a quasi-variational inequality related to a minimax impulse control problem modeling the option pricing with proportional transactions costs. This result makes our robust control approach of option pricing in the interval market model essentially complete.

  18. Coronary centerline extraction from CT coronary angiography images using a minimum cost path approach

    SciTech Connect

    Metz, C. T.; Schaap, M.; Weustink, A. C.; Mollet, N. R.; Walsum, T. van; Niessen, W. J.

    2009-12-15

    Purpose: The application and large-scale evaluation of minimum cost path approaches for coronary centerline extraction from computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) data and the development and evaluation of a novel method to reduce the user-interaction time. Methods: A semiautomatic method based on a minimum cost path approach is evaluated for two different cost functions. The first cost function is based on a frequently used vesselness measure and intensity information, and the second is a recently proposed cost function based on region statistics. User interaction is minimized to one or two mouse clicks distally in the coronary artery. The starting point for the minimum cost path search is automatically determined using a newly developed method that finds a point in the center of the aorta in one of the axial slices. This step ensures that all computationally expensive parts of the algorithm can be precomputed. Results: The performance of the aorta localization procedure was demonstrated by a success rate of 100% in 75 images. The success rate and accuracy of centerline extraction was quantitatively evaluated on 48 coronary arteries in 12 images by comparing extracted centerlines with a manually annotated reference standard. The method was able to extract 88% and 47% of the vessel centerlines correctly using the vesselness/intensity and region statistics cost function, respectively. For only the proximal part of the vessels these values were 97% and 86%, respectively. Accuracy of centerline extraction, defined as the average distance from correctly automatically extracted parts of the centerline to the reference standard, was 0.64 mm for the vesselness/intensity and 0.51 mm for the region statistics cost function. The interobserver variability was 99% for the success rate measure and 0.42 mm for the accuracy measure. Qualitative evaluation using the best performing cost function resulted in successful centerline extraction for 233 out of the 252

  19. One Health approach to cost-effective rabies control in India

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Hiral A.; Pandey, Abhishek; Bilinski, Alyssa M.; Kakkar, Manish; Clark, Andrew D.; Galvani, Alison P.

    2016-01-01

    Over 20,000 rabies deaths occur annually in India, representing one-third of global human rabies. The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has pioneered a “One Health” committee to address the challenge of rabies in dogs and humans. Currently, rabies control in Tamil Nadu involves postexposure vaccination of humans after dog bites, whereas potential supplemental approaches include canine vaccination and sterilization. We developed a data-driven rabies transmission model fit to human rabies autopsy data and human rabies surveillance data from Tamil Nadu. Integrating local estimates for canine demography and costs, we predicted the impact of canine vaccination and sterilization on human health outcomes and evaluated cost-effectiveness according to the WHO criteria for India, which correspond to thresholds of $1,582 and $4,746 per disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for very cost-effective and cost-effective strategies, respectively. We found that highly feasible strategies focused on stray dogs, vaccinating as few as 7% of dogs annually, could very cost-effectively reduce human rabies deaths by 70% within 5 y, and a modest expansion to vaccinating 13% of stray dogs could cost-effectively reduce human rabies by almost 90%. Through integration over parameter uncertainty, we find that, for a cost-effectiveness threshold above $1,400 per DALY, canine interventions are at least 95% likely to be optimal. If owners are willing to bring dogs to central point campaigns at double the rate that campaign teams can capture strays, expanded annual targets become cost-effective. This case study of cost-effective canine interventions in Tamil Nadu may have applicability to other settings in India and beyond. PMID:27994161

  20. A randomized controlled trial testing an Internet delivered cost-benefit approach to weight loss maintenance.

    PubMed

    Leahey, Tricia M; Fava, Joseph L; Seiden, Andrew; Fernandes, Denise; Doyle, Caroline; Kent, Kimberly; La Rue, Molly; Mitchell, Marc; Wing, Rena R

    2016-11-01

    Weight loss maintenance is a significant challenge in obesity treatment. During maintenance the "costs" of adhering to weight management behaviors may outweigh the "benefits." This study examined the efficacy of a novel approach to weight loss maintenance based on modifying the cost-benefit ratio. Individuals who achieved a 5% weight loss (N=75) were randomized to one of three, 10-month maintenance interventions. All interventions were delivered primarily via the Internet. The Standard arm received traditional weight maintenance strategies. To increase benefits, or rewards, for maintenance behaviors, the two cost-benefit intervention conditions received weekly monetary rewards for self-monitoring and social reinforcement via e-coaching. To decrease behavioral costs (boredom) and increase novelty, participants in the cost-benefit conditions also monitored different evidence-based behaviors every two weeks (e.g., Weeks 1 & 2: steps; Week 3 & 4: red foods). The primary difference between the cost-benefit interventions was type of e-coach providing social reinforcement: Professional (CB Pro) or Peer (CB Peer). Study procedures took place in Providence, RI from 2013 to 2014. Retention was 99%. There were significant group differences in weight regain (p=.01). The Standard arm gained 3.5±5.7kg. In contrast, participants in CB Pro and CB Peer lost an additional 1.8±7.0kg and 0.5±6.4kg, respectively. These results suggest that an Internet delivered cost-benefit approach to weight loss maintenance may be effective for long-term weight control. In addition, using peer coaches to provide reinforcement may be a particularly economic alternative to professionals. These data are promising and provide support for a larger, longer trial.

  1. A Cost Comparison of Alternative Approaches to Distance Education in Developing Countries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ventre, Gerard G.; Kalu, Alex

    1996-01-01

    This paper presents a cost comparison of three approaches to two-way interactive distance learning systems for developing countries. Included are costs for distance learning hardware, terrestrial and satellite communication links, and designing instruction for two-way interactive courses. As part of this project, FSEC is developing a 30-hour course in photovoltaic system design that will be used in a variety of experiments using the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). A primary goal of the project is to develop an instructional design and delivery model that can be used for other education and training programs. Over two-thirds of the world photovoltaics market is in developing countries. One of the objectives of this NASA-sponsored project was to develop new and better energy education programs that take advantage of advances in telecommunications and computer technology. The combination of desktop video systems and the sharing of computer applications software is of special interest. Research is being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of some of these technologies as part of this project. The design of the distance learning origination and receive sites discussed in this paper were influenced by the educational community's growing interest in distance education. The following approach was used to develop comparative costs for delivering interactive distance education to developing countries: (1) Representative target locations for receive sites were chosen. The originating site was assumed to be Cocoa, Florida, where FSEC is located; (2) A range of course development costs were determined; (3) The cost of equipment for three alternative two-way interactive distance learning system configurations was determined or estimated. The types of system configurations ranged from a PC-based system that allows instructors to originate instruction from their office using desktop video and shared application software, to a high cost system that uses a

  2. A cost-efficiency and health benefit approach to improve urban air quality.

    PubMed

    Miranda, A I; Ferreira, J; Silveira, C; Relvas, H; Duque, L; Roebeling, P; Lopes, M; Costa, S; Monteiro, A; Gama, C; Sá, E; Borrego, C; Teixeira, J P

    2016-11-01

    When ambient air quality standards established in the EU Directive 2008/50/EC are exceeded, Member States are obliged to develop and implement Air Quality Plans (AQP) to improve air quality and health. Notwithstanding the achievements in emission reductions and air quality improvement, additional efforts need to be undertaken to improve air quality in a sustainable way - i.e. through a cost-efficiency approach. This work was developed in the scope of the recently concluded MAPLIA project "Moving from Air Pollution to Local Integrated Assessment", and focuses on the definition and assessment of emission abatement measures and their associated costs, air quality and health impacts and benefits by means of air quality modelling tools, health impact functions and cost-efficiency analysis. The MAPLIA system was applied to the Grande Porto urban area (Portugal), addressing PM10 and NOx as the most important pollutants in the region. Four different measures to reduce PM10 and NOx emissions were defined and characterized in terms of emissions and implementation costs, and combined into 15 emission scenarios, simulated by the TAPM air quality modelling tool. Air pollutant concentration fields were then used to estimate health benefits in terms of avoided costs (external costs), using dose-response health impact functions. Results revealed that, among the 15 scenarios analysed, the scenario including all 4 measures lead to a total net benefit of 0.3M€·y(-1). The largest net benefit is obtained for the scenario considering the conversion of 50% of open fire places into heat recovery wood stoves. Although the implementation costs of this measure are high, the benefits outweigh the costs. Research outcomes confirm that the MAPLIA system is useful for policy decision support on air quality improvement strategies, and could be applied to other urban areas where AQP need to be implemented and monitored.

  3. Cost - effectiveness analysis of the antiplatelet treatment administered on ischemic stroke patients using goal programming approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajendran, Rasvini; Zainuddin, Zaitul Marlizawati; Idris, Badrisyah

    2014-09-01

    There are numerous ways to prevent or treat ischemic stroke and each of these competing alternatives is associated with a different effectiveness and a cost. In circumstances where health funds are budgeted and thus fixed, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) can provide information on how to comprehend the largest health gains with that limited fund as CEA is used to compare different strategies for preventing or treating a single disease. The most common medications for ischemic stroke are the anti-platelet drugs. While some drugs are more effective than others, they are also more expensive. This paper will thus assess the CEA of anti-platelet drug available for ischemic stroke patients using goal programming (GP) approach subject to in-patients days and patients' quality-of-life. GP presents a way of striving towards several objectives simultaneously whereby in this case we will consider minimizing the cost and maximizing the effectiveness.

  4. Regional economic activity and absenteeism: a new approach to estimating the indirect costs of employee productivity loss.

    PubMed

    Bankert, Brian; Coberley, Carter; Pope, James E; Wells, Aaron

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents a new approach to estimating the indirect costs of health-related absenteeism. Productivity losses related to employee absenteeism have negative business implications for employers and these losses effectively deprive the business of an expected level of employee labor. The approach herein quantifies absenteeism cost using an output per labor hour-based method and extends employer-level results to the region. This new approach was applied to the employed population of 3 health insurance carriers. The economic cost of absenteeism was estimated to be $6.8 million, $0.8 million, and $0.7 million on average for the 3 employers; regional losses were roughly twice the magnitude of employer-specific losses. The new approach suggests that costs related to absenteeism for high output per labor hour industries exceed similar estimates derived from application of the human capital approach. The materially higher costs under the new approach emphasize the importance of accurately estimating productivity losses.

  5. Renaissance: A revolutionary approach for providing low-cost ground data systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, Madeline J.; Perkins, Dorothy C.; Zeigenfuss, Lawrence B.

    1996-01-01

    The NASA is changing its attention from large missions to a greater number of smaller missions with reduced development schedules and budgets. In relation to this, the Renaissance Mission Operations and Data Systems Directorate systems engineering process is presented. The aim of the Renaissance approach is to improve system performance, reduce cost and schedules and meet specific customer needs. The approach includes: the early involvement of the users to define the mission requirements and system architectures; the streamlining of management processes; the development of a flexible cost estimation capability, and the ability to insert technology. Renaissance-based systems demonstrate significant reuse of commercial off-the-shelf building blocks in an integrated system architecture.

  6. Characterizing Synergistic Water and Energy Efficiency at the Residential Scale Using a Cost Abatement Curve Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stillwell, A. S.; Chini, C. M.; Schreiber, K. L.; Barker, Z. A.

    2015-12-01

    Energy and water are two increasingly correlated resources. Electricity generation at thermoelectric power plants requires cooling such that large water withdrawal and consumption rates are associated with electricity consumption. Drinking water and wastewater treatment require significant electricity inputs to clean, disinfect, and pump water. Due to this energy-water nexus, energy efficiency measures might be a cost-effective approach to reducing water use and water efficiency measures might support energy savings as well. This research characterizes the cost-effectiveness of different efficiency approaches in households by quantifying the direct and indirect water and energy savings that could be realized through efficiency measures, such as low-flow fixtures, energy and water efficient appliances, distributed generation, and solar water heating. Potential energy and water savings from these efficiency measures was analyzed in a product-lifetime adjusted economic model comparing efficiency measures to conventional counterparts. Results were displayed as cost abatement curves indicating the most economical measures to implement for a target reduction in water and/or energy consumption. These cost abatement curves are useful in supporting market innovation and investment in residential-scale efficiency.

  7. A Real Options Approach to Quantity and Cost Optimization for Lifetime and Bridge Buys of Parts

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-12-01

    December 2015 This research was par t ia l ly sponsored by the Naval Postg raduate School . A Real Options Approach to Quantity and Cost...and bridge buys, which are used to manage part discontinuance (i.e., obsolescence) during the support of critical systems are simple in concept, the...Acquisition Research Program under Grant No. N00244-14-1-0060 and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The views expressed in this report do not

  8. Cost and technical efficiency of physician practices: a stochastic frontier approach using panel data.

    PubMed

    Heimeshoff, Mareike; Schreyögg, Jonas; Kwietniewski, Lukas

    2014-06-01

    This is the first study to use stochastic frontier analysis to estimate both the technical and cost efficiency of physician practices. The analysis is based on panel data from 3,126 physician practices for the years 2006 through 2008. We specified the technical and cost frontiers as translog function, using the one-step approach of Battese and Coelli to detect factors that influence the efficiency of general practitioners and specialists. Variables that were not analyzed previously in this context (e.g., the degree of practice specialization) and a range of control variables such as a patients' case-mix were included in the estimation. Our results suggest that it is important to investigate both technical and cost efficiency, as results may depend on the type of efficiency analyzed. For example, the technical efficiency of group practices was significantly higher than that of solo practices, whereas the results for cost efficiency differed. This may be due to indivisibilities in expensive technical equipment, which can lead to different types of health care services being provided by different practice types (i.e., with group practices using more expensive inputs, leading to higher costs per case despite these practices being technically more efficient). Other practice characteristics such as participation in disease management programs show the same impact throughout both cost and technical efficiency: participation in disease management programs led to an increase in both, technical and cost efficiency, and may also have had positive effects on the quality of care. Future studies should take quality-related issues into account.

  9. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4–5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms. PMID:27505419

  10. A Low-Cost Clustered Archive Approach for Storing Remote Sensing Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilmes, Curt

    2004-01-01

    As part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Information System (EOSDIS), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) Data Processing System (MODAPS) is now processing data from two instruments on the EOS flag ship spacecraft Terra and Aqua. Between the two, MODAPS is generating over 1 Terrabyte of data per day and has surpassed 3 Petabytes of total data. The bulk of the data is stored near-line in StorageTek Powerhorn tape jukeboxes. Accessing data that has been moved to tape involves submitting an order, scheduling the tape, and waiting for the data to become available. I am developing a low cost clustered archive that could enable storing a very large amount of data such as the MODIS data described above in an organized fashion on a cluster of commodity hardware using low cost SATA hard drives such that the files are directly available online. The system takes full advantage of Open Source software, using the GNULinux operating system, PostgreSQL relational database and the Apache HTTP Server. This poster session will depict my approach, the interface to the archive, a brief discussion of the internals of the system and some performance numbers from my prototyping. I will also describe various costs and benefits of this approach versus the traditional large tape jukebox approach currently in use in the EOSDIS.

  11. Pharmacological versus microvascular decompression approaches for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: clinical outcomes and direct costs

    PubMed Central

    Lemos, Laurinda; Alegria, Carlos; Oliveira, Joana; Machado, Ana; Oliveira, Pedro; Almeida, Armando

    2011-01-01

    In idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) the neuroimaging evaluation is usually normal, but in some cases a vascular compression of trigeminal nerve root is present. Although the latter condition may be referred to surgery, drug therapy is usually the first approach to control pain. This study compared the clinical outcome and direct costs of (1) a traditional treatment (carbamazepine [CBZ] in monotherapy [CBZ protocol]), (2) the association of gabapentin (GBP) and analgesic block of trigger-points with ropivacaine (ROP) (GBP+ROP protocol), and (3) a common TN surgery, microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve (MVD protocol). Sixty-two TN patients were randomly treated during 4 weeks (CBZ [n = 23] and GBP+ROP [n = 17] protocols) from cases of idiopathic TN, or selected for MVD surgery (n = 22) due to intractable pain. Direct medical cost estimates were determined by the price of drugs in 2008 and the hospital costs. Pain was evaluated using the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and number of pain crises; the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Sickness Impact Profile, and satisfaction with treatment and hospital team were evaluated. Assessments were performed at day 0 and 6 months after the beginning of treatment. All protocols showed a clinical improvement of pain control at month 6. The GBP+ROP protocol was the least expensive treatment, whereas surgery was the most expensive. With time, however, GBP+ROP tended to be the most and MVD the least expensive. No sequelae resulted in any patient after drug therapies, while after MDV surgery several patients showed important side effects. Data reinforce that, (1) TN patients should be carefully evaluated before choosing therapy for pain control, (2) different pharmacological approaches are available to initiate pain control at low costs, and (3) criteria for surgical interventions should be clearly defined due to important side effects, with the initial higher costs being strongly reduced with time. PMID:21941455

  12. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Comparing Two Approaches for Empirical Antifungal Therapy in Hematological Patients with Persistent Febrile Neutropenia

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Navarro, M. Victoria; Aguilar-Guisado, Manuela; Espigado, Ildefonso; de Pipaón, Maite Ruiz Pérez; Falantes, José; Pachón, Jerónimo

    2013-01-01

    New approaches of empirical antifungal therapy (EAT) in selected hematological patients with persistent febrile neutropenia (PFN) have been proposed in recent years, but their cost-effectiveness has not been studied. The aim of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two different approaches of EAT in hematological patients with PFN: the diagnosis-driven antifungal therapy (DDAT) approach versus the standard approach of EAT. A decision tree to assess the cost-effectiveness of both approaches was developed. Outcome probabilities and treatment pathways were extrapolated from two studies: a prospective cohort study following the DDAT approach and a randomized clinical trial following the standard approach. Uncertainty was undertaken through sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation. The average effectiveness and economic advantages in the DDAT approach compared to the standard approach were 2.6% and €5,879 (33%) per PFN episode, respectively. The DDAT was the dominant approach in the 99.5% of the simulations performed with average cost-effectiveness per PFN episode of €32,671 versus €52,479 in the EAT approach. The results were robust over a wide range of variables. The DDAT approach is more cost-effective than the EAT approach in the management of PFN in hematological patients. PMID:23856767

  13. The importance of activity-based methods in radiology and the technology that now makes this possible.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Activity-based methods serve as a dynamic process that has allowed many other industries to reduce and control their costs, increase productivity, and streamline their processes while improving product quality and service. The method could serve the healthcare industry in an equally beneficial way. Activity-based methods encompass both activity based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM). ABC is a cost management approach that links resource consumption to activities that an enterprise performs, and then assigns those activities and their associated costs to customers, products, or product lines. ABM uses the resource assignments derived in ABC so that operation managers can improve their departmental processes and workflows. There are three fundamental problems with traditional cost systems. First, traditional systems fail to reflect the underlying diversity of work taking place within an enterprise. Second, it uses allocations that are, for the most part, arbitrary Single step allocations fail to reflect the real work-the activities being performed and the associate resources actually consumed. Third, they only provide a cost number that, standing alone, does not provide any guidance on how to improve performance by lowering cost or enhancing throughput.

  14. Innovative approach for low-cost quick-access small payload missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friis, Jan W., Jr.

    2000-11-01

    A significant part of the burgeoning commercial space industry is placing an unprecedented number of satellites into low earth orbit for a variety of new applications and services. By some estimates the commercial space industry now exceeds that of government space activities. Yet the two markets remain largely separate, with each deploying dedicated satellites and infrastructure for their respective missions. One commercial space firm, Final Analysis, has created a new program wherein either government, scientific or new technology payloads can be integrated on a commercial spacecraft on commercial satellites for a variety of mission scenarios at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated mission. NASA has recognized the advantage of this approach, and has awarded the Quick Ride program to provide frequent, low cost flight opportunities for small independent payloads aboard the Final Analysis constellation, and investigators are rapidly developing science programs that conform to the proposed payload accommodations envelope. Missions that were not feasible using dedicated launches are now receiving approval under the lower cost Quick Ride approach. Final Analysis has dedicated ten out of its thirty-eight satellites in support of the Quick Ride efforts. The benefit of this type of space access extend beyond NASA science programs. Commercial space firms can now gain valuable flight heritage for new technology and satellite product offerings. Further, emerging international space programs can now place a payload in orbit enabling the country to allocate its resources against the payload and mission requirements rather htan increased launch costs of a dedicated spacecraft. Finally, the low cost nature provides University-based research educational opportunities previously out of the reach of most space-related budgets. This paper will describe the motivation, benefits, technical features, and program costs of the Final Analysis secondary payload program. Payloads can be

  15. Is the societal approach wide enough to include relatives? Incorporating relatives' costs and effects in a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Thomas; Levin, Lars-Ake

    2010-01-01

    It is important for economic evaluations in healthcare to cover all relevant information. However, many existing evaluations fall short of this goal, as they fail to include all the costs and effects for the relatives of a disabled or sick individual. The objective of this study was to analyse how relatives' costs and effects could be measured, valued and incorporated into a cost-effectiveness analysis. In this article, we discuss the theories underlying cost-effectiveness analyses in the healthcare arena; the general conclusion is that it is hard to find theoretical arguments for excluding relatives' costs and effects if a societal perspective is used. We argue that the cost of informal care should be calculated according to the opportunity cost method. To capture relatives' effects, we construct a new term, the R-QALY weight, which is defined as the effect on relatives' QALY weight of being related to a disabled or sick individual. We examine methods for measuring, valuing and incorporating the R-QALY weights. One suggested method is to estimate R-QALYs and incorporate them together with the patient's QALY in the analysis. However, there is no well established method as yet that can create R-QALY weights. One difficulty with measuring R-QALY weights using existing instruments is that these instruments are rarely focused on relative-related aspects. Even if generic quality-of-life instruments do cover some aspects relevant to relatives and caregivers, they may miss important aspects and potential altruistic preferences. A further development and validation of the existing caregiving instruments used for eliciting utility weights would therefore be beneficial for this area, as would further studies on the use of time trade-off or Standard Gamble methods for valuing R-QALY weights. Another potential method is to use the contingent valuation method to find a monetary value for all the relatives' costs and effects. Because cost-effectiveness analyses are used for

  16. An Empty Toolbox? Changes in Health Plans’ Approaches for Managing Costs and Care

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Glen P; Hurley, Robert E; Grossman, Joy M

    2003-01-01

    Objective To examine how health plans have changed their approaches for managing costs and utilization in the wake of the recent backlash against managed care. Data Sources/Study Setting Semistructured interviews with health plan executives, employers, providers, and other health care decision makers in 12 metropolitan areas that were randomly selected to be nationally representative of communities with more than 200,000 residents. Longitudinal data were collected as part of the Community Tracking Study during three rounds of site visits in 1996–1997, 1998–1999, and 2000–2001. Study Design Interviews probed about changes in the design and operation of health insurance products—including provider contracting and network development, benefit packages, and utilization management processes—and about the rationale and perceived impact of these changes. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data from more than 850 interviews were coded, extracted, and analyzed using computerized text analysis software. Principal Findings Health plans have begun to scale back or abandon their use of selected managed care tools in most communities, with selective contracting and risk contracting practices fading most rapidly and completely. In turn, plans increasingly have sought cost savings by shifting costs to consumers. Some plans have begun to experiment with new provider networks, payment systems, and referral practices designed to lower costs and improve service delivery. Conclusions These changes promise to lighten administrative and financial burdens for physicians and hospitals, but they also threaten to increase consumers’ financial burdens. PMID:12650372

  17. Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization Approach for Cost-Based Feature Selection in Classification.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Gong, Dun-Wei; Cheng, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Feature selection is an important data-preprocessing technique in classification problems such as bioinformatics and signal processing. Generally, there are some situations where a user is interested in not only maximizing the classification performance but also minimizing the cost that may be associated with features. This kind of problem is called cost-based feature selection. However, most existing feature selection approaches treat this task as a single-objective optimization problem. This paper presents the first study of multi-objective particle swarm optimization (PSO) for cost-based feature selection problems. The task of this paper is to generate a Pareto front of nondominated solutions, that is, feature subsets, to meet different requirements of decision-makers in real-world applications. In order to enhance the search capability of the proposed algorithm, a probability-based encoding technology and an effective hybrid operator, together with the ideas of the crowding distance, the external archive, and the Pareto domination relationship, are applied to PSO. The proposed PSO-based multi-objective feature selection algorithm is compared with several multi-objective feature selection algorithms on five benchmark datasets. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can automatically evolve a set of nondominated solutions, and it is a highly competitive feature selection method for solving cost-based feature selection problems.

  18. A cost-function approach to rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL).

    PubMed

    Ma, Jinwen; Wang, Taijun

    2006-08-01

    Rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL) has been shown to be a useful tool for clustering on a set of sample data in which the number of clusters is unknown. However, the RPCL algorithm was proposed heuristically and is still in lack of a mathematical theory to describe its convergence behavior. In order to solve the convergence problem, we investigate it via a cost-function approach. By theoretical analysis, we prove that a general form of RPCL, called distance-sensitive RPCL (DSRPCL), is associated with the minimization of a cost function on the weight vectors of a competitive learning network. As a DSRPCL process decreases the cost to a local minimum, a number of weight vectors eventually fall into a hypersphere surrounding the sample data, while the other weight vectors diverge to infinity. Moreover, it is shown by the theoretical analysis and simulation experiments that if the cost reduces into the global minimum, a correct number of weight vectors is automatically selected and located around the centers of the actual clusters, respectively. Finally, we apply the DSRPCL algorithms to unsupervised color image segmentation and classification of the wine data.

  19. Vertical and lateral flight optimization algorithm and missed approach cost calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murrieta Mendoza, Alejandro

    Flight trajectory optimization is being looked as a way of reducing flight costs, fuel burned and emissions generated by the fuel consumption. The objective of this work is to find the optimal trajectory between two points. To find the optimal trajectory, the parameters of weight, cost index, initial coordinates, and meteorological conditions along the route are provided to the algorithm. This algorithm finds the trajectory where the global cost is the most economical. The global cost is a compromise between fuel burned and flight time, this is determined using a cost index that assigns a cost in terms of fuel to the flight time. The optimization is achieved by calculating a candidate optimal cruise trajectory profile from all the combinations available in the aircraft performance database. With this cruise candidate profile, more cruises profiles are calculated taken into account the climb and descend costs. During cruise, step climbs are evaluated to optimize the trajectory. The different trajectories are compared and the most economical one is defined as the optimal vertical navigation profile. From the optimal vertical navigation profile, different lateral routes are tested. Taking advantage of the meteorological influence, the algorithm looks for the lateral navigation trajectory where the global cost is the most economical. That route is then selected as the optimal lateral navigation profile. The meteorological data was obtained from environment Canada. The new way of obtaining data from the grid from environment Canada proposed in this work resulted in an important computation time reduction compared against other methods such as bilinear interpolation. The algorithm developed here was evaluated in two different aircraft: the Lockheed L-1011 and the Sukhoi Russian regional jet. The algorithm was developed in MATLAB, and the validation was performed using Flight-Sim by Presagis and the FMS CMA-9000 by CMC Electronics -- Esterline. At the end of this work a

  20. A Low Cost Approach to Simultaneous Orbit, Attitude, and Rate Estimation Using an Extended Kalman Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter, a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimate spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an Extended Kalman Filter. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  1. A low cost approach to simultaneous orbit, attitude, and rate estimation using an extended Kalman filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimates spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an EKF. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  2. An Effective Approach to Improving Low-Cost GPS Positioning Accuracy in Real-Time Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Positioning accuracy is a challenging issue for location-based applications using a low-cost global positioning system (GPS). This paper presents an effective approach to improving the positioning accuracy of a low-cost GPS receiver for real-time navigation. The proposed method precisely estimates position by combining vehicle movement direction, velocity averaging, and distance between waypoints using coordinate data (latitude, longitude, time, and velocity) of the GPS receiver. The previously estimated precious reference point, coordinate translation, and invalid data check also improve accuracy. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conducted an experiment using a GARMIN GPS 19xHVS receiver attached to a car and used Google Maps to plot the processed data. The proposed method achieved improvement of 4–10 meters in several experiments. In addition, we compared the proposed approach with two other state-of-the-art methods: recursive averaging and ARMA interpolation. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of positioning accuracy. PMID:25136679

  3. A heart rate evaluation approach to determine cost-effectiveness an ergonomics intervention.

    PubMed

    Bedny, G Z; Karwowski, W; Seglin, M H

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes a hear-rate methodology to determine the cost-effectiveness of an ergonomics intervention to reduce workload and improve working conditions. This is a practical approach as opposed to the energy expenditure technique that is difficult to implement in natural settings. This was a laboratory study using a large excavator cabin with devices to simulate excavation operations. Mean heart rate was used to calculate the required rest time during a shift with or without air-conditioning. The criterion for evaluation was differences in required rest time during a shift under these 2 conditions. The simplicity and objectivity of this approach invites use to solve the problem of the economic evaluation of ergonomics interventions.

  4. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 5 and 6

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    The ten-lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. Lessons 5 and 6 show that the effective plant-wide reduction of deburring costs can best be achieved by: determining the people who should be involved in a plant-wide review of deburring; defining the approach to be used in a plant-wide review of deburring; providing some form of training for both engineers and production workers; establishing in-plant standards for burrs and deburring; and understanding the capabilities of the available deburring equipment. The key to plant-wide control of deburring costs lies in considering deburring as integral as drilling or milling to the manufacturing process, in respecting the difficulty that deburring presents, in recognizing those who contribute to the success of deburring operations, and in using the large quantity of data that already exists. Plant-wide control of deburring costs is the difference between 25 years of experience and one year of experience repeated 25 times.

  5. Estimating the environmental and resource costs of leakage in water distribution systems: A shadow price approach.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Mocholí-Arce, Manuel; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2016-10-15

    Water scarcity is one of the main problems faced by many regions in the XXIst century. In this context, the need to reduce leakages from water distribution systems has gained almost universal acceptance. The concept of sustainable economic level of leakage (SELL) has been proposed to internalize the environmental and resource costs within economic level of leakage calculations. However, because these costs are not set by the market, they have not often been calculated. In this paper, the directional-distance function was used to estimate the shadow price of leakages as a proxy of their environmental and resource costs. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of leakage externalities. An empirical application was carried out for the main Chilean water companies. The estimated results indicated that for 2014, the average shadow price of leakages was approximately 32% of the price of the water delivered. Moreover, as a sensitivity analysis, the shadow prices of the leakages were calculated from the perspective of the water companies' managers and the regulator. The methodology and findings of this study are essential for supporting the decision process of reducing leakage, contributing to the improvement of economic, social and environmental efficiency and sustainability of urban water supplies.

  6. Spacecraft Onboard Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach which Reduces Costs and Increases Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software (FSW) is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are dealing almost entirely with onboard software. This software, even more than ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly at all times during all phases of on-orbit mission life. Due to the fact that FSW can be reconfigured and reprogrammed to accommodate new spacecraft conditions, the on-orbit FSW maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long-term success of a science mission. Failure of FSW can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to staffing on-orbit software maintenance, namely: (1) using the original developers, (2) using mission operations personnel, or (3) assembling a Center of Excellence for multi-spacecraft on-orbit FSW support. This paper explains a National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC) experience related to the roles of on-orbit FSW maintenance personnel. It identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three approaches to staffing the FSW roles, and demonstrates how a cost efficient on-orbit FSW Maintenance Center of Excellence can be established and maintained with significant return on the investment.

  7. Measuring population health: costs of alternative survey approaches in the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System in rural Burkina Faso

    PubMed Central

    Lietz, Henrike; Lingani, Moustapha; Sié, Ali; Sauerborn, Rainer; Souares, Aurelia; Tozan, Yesim

    2015-01-01

    Background There are more than 40 Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) sites in 19 different countries. The running costs of HDSS sites are high. The financing of HDSS activities is of major importance, and adding external health surveys to the HDSS is challenging. To investigate the ways of improving data quality and collection efficiency in the Nouna HDSS in Burkina Faso, the stand-alone data collection activities of the HDSS and the Household Morbidity Survey (HMS) were integrated, and the paper-based questionnaires were consolidated into a single tablet-based questionnaire, the Comprehensive Disease Assessment (CDA). Objective The aims of this study are to estimate and compare the implementation costs of the two different survey approaches for measuring population health. Design All financial costs of stand-alone (HDSS and HMS) and integrated (CDA) surveys were estimated from the perspective of the implementing agency. Fixed and variable costs of survey implementation and key cost drivers were identified. The costs per household visit were calculated for both survey approaches. Results While fixed costs of survey implementation were similar for the two survey approaches, there were considerable variations in variable costs, resulting in an estimated annual cost saving of about US$45,000 under the integrated survey approach. This was primarily because the costs of data management for the tablet-based CDA survey were considerably lower than for the paper-based stand-alone surveys. The cost per household visit from the integrated survey approach was US$21 compared with US$25 from the stand-alone surveys for collecting the same amount of information from 10,000 HDSS households. Conclusions The CDA tablet-based survey method appears to be feasible and efficient for collecting health and demographic data in the Nouna HDSS in rural Burkina Faso. The possibility of using the tablet-based data collection platform to improve the quality of population health

  8. Low-income DSM Programs: Methodological approach to determining the cost-effectiveness of coordinated partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M.A.; Hill, L.J.

    1994-05-01

    As governments at all levels become increasingly budget-conscious, expenditures on low-income, demand-side management (DSM) programs are being evaluated more on the basis of efficiency at the expense of equity considerations. Budgetary pressures have also caused government agencies to emphasize resource leveraging and coordination with electric and gas utilities as a means of sharing the expenses of low-income programs. The increased involvement of electric and gas utilities in coordinated low-income DSM programs, in turn, has resulted in greater emphasis on estimating program cost-effectiveness. The objective of this study is to develop a methodological approach to estimate the cost- effectiveness of coordinated low-income DSM programs, given the special features that distinguish these programs from other utility-operated DSM programs. The general approach used in this study was to (1) select six coordinated low-income DSM programs from among those currently operating across the United States, (2) examine the main features of these programs, and (3) determine the conceptual and pragmatic problems associated with estimating their cost-effectiveness. Three types of coordination between government and utility cosponsors were identified. At one extreme, local agencies operate {open_quotes}parallel{close_quotes} programs, each of which is fully funded by a single sponsor (e.g., one funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the other by a utility). At the other extreme are highly {open_quotes}coupled{close_quotes} programs that capitalize on the unique capabilities and resources offered by each cosponsor. In these programs, agencies employ a combination of utility and government funds to deliver weatherization services as part of an integrated effort. In between are {open_quotes}supplemental{close_quotes} programs that utilize resources to supplement the agency`s government-funded weatherization, with no changes to the operation of that program.

  9. Unraveling Higher Education's Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Gus; Charles, Maria

    1998-01-01

    The activity-based costing (ABC) method of analyzing institutional costs in higher education involves four procedures: determining the various discrete activities of the organization; calculating the cost of each; determining the cost drivers; tracing cost to the cost objective or consumer of each activity. Few American institutions have used the…

  10. Spacecraft Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach to Reducing Costs and Increasing Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are typically dealing almost entirely with the capabilities of onboard software. This software, even more than critical ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly during all phases of spacecraft life. Due to the fact that it can be reprogrammed on-orbit to accommodate degradations or failures in flight hardware, new insights into spacecraft characteristics, new control options which permit enhanced science options, etc., the on- orbit flight software maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long term success of a science mission. Failure of flight software to perform as needed can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to maintaining spacecraft software--namely using the original developers, using the mission operations personnel, or assembling a center of excellence for multi-spacecraft software maintenance. Not planning properly for flight software maintenance can lead to unnecessarily high on-orbit costs and/or unacceptably long delays, or errors, in patch installations. A common approach for flight software maintenance is to access the original development staff. The argument for utilizing the development staff is that the people who developed the software will be the best people to modify the software on-orbit. However, it can quickly becomes a challenge to obtain the services of these key people. They may no longer be available to the organization. They may have a more urgent job to perform, quite likely on another project under different project management. If they havn't worked on the software for a long time, they may need precious time for refamiliarization to the software, testbeds and tools. Further, a lack of insight into issues related to flight software in its on

  11. A study of low cost approaches to scientific experiment implementation for shuttle launched and serviced automated spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Cost reductions that can be obtained in experiment instrumentation by the use of standardized electronics and by the relaxation of instrument reliability requirements are studied. The feasibility of using standardized equipment for experiment instrumentation is assessed and a system design approach that most effectively incorporates standardized equipment is developed. The level and form of modularization that is appropriate for the standardized equipment is determined. Mission assurance aspects of instrument development are examined to determine the cost reductions that might be derived from the relaxation of reliability requirements and to formulate a systematic approach to the optimization of mission assurance cost reductions. The results of the analyses are applied to a representative model HEAO payload in order to provide a concrete example of the cost reductions that can be achieved by a standardized approach to the instrument electronics.

  12. A learning curve approach to projecting cost and performance for photovoltaic technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cody, George D.; Tiedje, Thomas

    1997-04-01

    The current cost of electricity generated by PV power is still extremely high with respect to power supplied by the utility grid, and there remain questions as to whether PV power can ever be competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels. An objective approach to this important question was given in a previous paper by the authors which introduced analytical tools to define and project the technical/economic status of PV power from 1988 through the year 2010. In this paper, we apply these same tools to update the conclusions of our earlier study in the context of recent announcements by Amoco/Enron-Solarex of projected sales of PV power at rates significantly less than the US utility average.

  13. Learning curve approach to projecting cost and performance for photovoltaic technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cody, George D.; Tiedje, Thomas

    1997-10-01

    The current cost of electricity generated by PV power is still extremely high with respect to power supplied by the utility grid, and there remain questions as to whether PV power can ever be competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels. An objective approach to this important question was given in a previous paper by the authors which introduced analytical tools to define and project the technical/economic status of PV power from 1988 through the year 2010. In this paper, we apply these same tools to update the conclusions of our earlier study in the context of recent announcements by Amoco/Enron-Solar of projected sales of PV power at rates significantly less than the U.S. utility average.

  14. Tele-healthcare for diabetes management: A low cost automatic approach.

    PubMed

    Benaissa, M; Malik, B; Kanakis, A; Wright, N P

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, a telemedicine system for managing diabetic patients with better care is presented. The system is an end to end solution which relies on the integration of front end (patient unit) and backend web server. A key feature of the system developed is the very low cost automated approach. The front-end of the system is capable of reading glucose measurements from any glucose meter and sending them automatically via existing networks to the back-end server. The back-end is designed and developed using n-tier web client architecture based on model-view-controller design pattern using open source technology, a cost effective solution. The back-end helps the health-care provider with data analysis; data visualization and decision support, and allows them to send feedback and therapeutic advice to patients from anywhere using a browser enabled device. This system will be evaluated during the trials which will be conducted in collaboration with a local hospital in phased manner.

  15. A low-cost approach for the documentation and monitoring of an archaeological excavation site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmeister, Dirk; Orrin, Joel; Richter, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The documentation of archaeological excavations and in particular a constant monitoring is often time-consuming and depending on humańs capabilities. Thus, remote sensing methods, which allow an objective reproduction of the current state of an excavation and additional information are of interest. Therefore, a low-cost approach was tested on an open-air excavation site for two days in September 2015. The Magdalenian excavation site of Bad Kösen-Lengefeld, Germany is one important site in a system of about 100 sites in the area of the small rivers Saale and Unstrut. The whole site and the surrounding area (200 by 200 m) was first observed by a GoPro Hero 3+ mounted on a DJI-Phantom 2 UAV. Ground control points were set-up in a regular grid covering the whole area. The achieved accuracy is 20 mm with a ground resolution of 45 mm. As a test, the GoPro Hero 3+ camera was additionally mounted on a small, extendable pole. With this second low-cost, easy to apply monitoring approach, pictures were automatically taken every second in a stop-and-go mode. In order to capture the excavation pit (7 by 4 m), two different angles were used for holding the pole, which focused on the middle and on the border of the pit. This procedure was repeated on the following day in order to document the excavation process. For the registration of the images, the already existing and measured excavation nails were used, which are equally distributed over the whole site in a 1 m grid. Thus, a high accurate registration of the images was possible (>10 mm). In order to approve the accuracy of the already derived data, the whole site was also observed by a Faro Focus 3D LS 120 laser scanner. The measurements of this device were registered by spherical targets, which were measured in the same reference system. The accuracy of the registration and the ground resolution for the image based approach for both days was about 4 mm. From these two measurements the process of the excavation was easily

  16. A user-friendly approach to cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities.

    PubMed

    Baker, David G

    2011-08-19

    Cost accounting is an essential management activity for laboratory animal facility management. In this report, the author describes basic principles of cost accounting and outlines steps for carrying out cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities. Methods of post hoc cost accounting analysis for maximizing the efficiency of facility operations are also described.

  17. An economic approach that links volumetric estimates of resources with cost and price information

    SciTech Connect

    Nesbitt, D.M. )

    1993-01-01

    For many years, organizations such as the US Geological Survey have assembled volumetric estimates of gas and oil in place. It is legitimate for people in industry to ask: [open quotes]What do such estimates mean to me What do they mean to my business What do they mean for commodity prices [close quotes] In a world of ideal, efficient markets, such estimates would have little relevance; the best use of one's time would be to merely survey the various markets. In reality, markets are not completely efficient, and methods other than market observations are required. Volumetric estimates can contribute to better decisionmaking if they can be associated with cost and price information and if their implications in the market can thereby be determined. Until the generalized equilibrium approach, volumetric information has never been linked with the market. It has never entered the decision process of private companies the United States, Canada, or the rest of the world. With the approach outlined, the US Geological Survey volumetric estimates can be used to support such decisionmaking and lead to better industry profits, more enlightened regulation and Government administration, and more efficient use of resources. 66 refs., 28 figs.

  18. Approaches to capturing the financial cost of family care-giving within a palliative care context: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Clare; Brereton, Louise; Frey, Rosemary; Wilkinson-Meyers, Laura; Gott, Merryn

    2016-09-01

    The economic burden faced by family caregivers of people at the end of life is well recognised. Financial burden has a significant impact on the provision of family care-giving in the community setting, but has seen limited research attention. A systematic review with realist review synthesis and thematic analysis was undertaken to identify literature relating to the financial costs and impact of family care-giving at the end of life. This paper reports findings relating to previously developed approaches which capture the financial costs and implications of caring for family members receiving palliative/end-of-life care. Seven electronic databases were searched from inception to April 2012, for original research studies relating to the financial impact of care-giving at the end of life. Studies were independently screened to identify those which met the study inclusion criteria, and the methodological quality of included studies was appraised using realist review criteria of relevance and rigour. A descriptive thematic approach was used to synthesise data. Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria for the review. Various approaches to capturing data on the financial costs of care-giving at the end of life were noted; however, no single tool was identified with the sole purpose of exploring these costs. The majority of approaches used structured questionnaires and were administered by personal interview, with most studies using longitudinal designs. Calculation of costs was most often based on recall by patients and family caregivers, in some studies combined with objective measures of resource use. While the studies in this review provide useful data on approaches to capturing costs of care-giving, more work is needed to develop methods which accurately and sensitively capture the financial costs of caring at the end of life. Methodological considerations include study design and method of administration, contextual and cultural relevance, and accuracy of cost

  19. The costs and consequences of obesity in Germany: a new approach from a prevalence and life-cycle perspective.

    PubMed

    Effertz, Tobias; Engel, Susanne; Verheyen, Frank; Linder, Roland

    2016-12-01

    With the steadily growing health burden of obesity in Germany, the measuring and quantification of its costs and relevant economic consequences have become increasingly important. The usual quantifications via previous cost-of-illness approaches mostly have several weaknesses, e.g., applying "indirect methods" by using "population-attributable fractions" to identify parts of costs that can be accrued to obesity, second using highly aggregated data and third often only displaying part of the costs. This article presents a new approach and a new estimation of the cost and consequences of obesity in Germany using claims data from a German health insurance company. A sample of 146,000 individuals was analyzed with both a prevalence and a life-cycle focus on the cost and consequences of obesity. With additional data sets, we calculate the deaths per year due to obesity, the excess costs per year and several intangible consequences usually referred to as "pain and suffering". Our results show that the cost estimations of obesity in Germany so far have been largely underestimated. The annual direct costs of obesity in Germany amount to approximately €29.39 billion and the indirect costs to an additional €33.65 billion. A total of 102,000 subjects die prematurely each year because of obesity, and there is a significant excess of unemployment, long-term nursing care, and pain and suffering due to obesity. From a lifetime perspective, every obese man is equal to an additional burden of €166,911 and each woman of €206,526 for the social security system in Germany. Obesity due to unhealthy eating is thus about to replace tobacco consumption in terms of costs and consequences as the main hazardous lifestyle factor and thus should be more intensively focussed by public health policy.

  20. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  1. The MyHealthService approach for chronic disease management based on free open source software and low cost components.

    PubMed

    Vognild, Lars K; Burkow, Tatjana M; Luque, Luis Fernandez

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we present an approach to building personal health services, supporting following-up, physical exercising, health education, and psychosocial support for the chronically ill, based on free open source software and low-cost computers, mobile devices, and consumer health and fitness devices. We argue that this will lower the cost of the systems, which is important given the increasing number of people with chronicle diseases and limited healthcare budgets.

  2. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  3. An Integrated Design Approach for Evaluating the Utility and Cost of a Fleet

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-29

    biodiesel vehicles. Again the variety of vehicles was small, and the cost was restricted to only operational cost (maintenance, repair and fuel). Fu and...and cost metrics associated with a diesel to biodiesel fleet transition”. Energy Policy, 38(11, SI), NOV, pp. 7451–7456. [15] Fu, L., and Ishkhanov, G

  4. Software Cost Estimation Using a Decision Graph Process: A Knowledge Engineering Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stukes, Sherry; Spagnuolo, John, Jr.

    2011-01-01

    This paper is not a description per se of the efforts by two software cost analysts. Rather, it is an outline of the methodology used for FSW cost analysis presented in a form that would serve as a foundation upon which others may gain insight into how to perform FSW cost analyses for their own problems at hand.

  5. Activity-based analyses lead to better decision making.

    PubMed

    Player, S

    1998-08-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM) are cost-management tools that are relatively new to the healthcare industry. ABC is used for strategic decision making. It assesses the costs associated with specific activities and resources and links those costs to specific internal and external customers of the healthcare enterprise (e.g., patients, service lines, and physician groups) to determine the costs associated with each customer. This cost information then can be adjusted to account for anticipated changes and to predict future costs. ABM, on the other hand, supports operations by focusing on the causes of costs and how costs can be reduced. It assesses cost drivers that directly affect the cost of a product or service, and uses performance measures to evaluate the financial or nonfinancial benefit an activity provides. By identifying each cost driver and assessing the value the element adds to the healthcare enterprise, ABM provides a basis for selecting areas that can be changed to reduce costs.

  6. Effectiveness of bone cleaning process using chemical and entomology approaches: time and cost.

    PubMed

    Lai, Poh Soon; Khoo, Lay See; Mohd Hilmi, Saidin; Ahmad Hafizam, Hasmi; Mohd Shah, Mahmood; Nurliza, Abdullah; Nazni, Wasi Ahmad

    2015-08-01

    Skeletal examination is an important aspect of forensic pathology practice, requiring effective bone cleaning with minimal artefact. This study was conducted to compare between chemical and entomology methods of bone cleaning. Ten subjects between 20 and 40 years old who underwent uncomplicated medico-legal autopsies at the Institute of Forensic Medicine Malaysia were randomly chosen for this descriptive cross sectional study. The sternum bone was divided into 4 parts, each part subjected to a different cleaning method, being two chemical approaches i.e. laundry detergent and a combination of 6% hydrogen peroxide and powder sodium bicarbonate and two entomology approaches using 2nd instar maggots of Chrysomyia rufifacies and Ophyra spinigera. A scoring system for grading the outcome of cleaning was used. The effectiveness of the methods was evaluated based on average weight reduction per day and median number of days to achieve the average score of less than 1.5 within 12 days of the bone cleaning process. Using maggots was the most time-effective and costeffective method, achieving an average weight reduction of 1.4 gm per day, a median of 11.3 days to achieve the desired score and an average cost of MYR 4.10 per case to reach the desired score within 12 days. This conclusion was supported by blind validation by forensic specialists achieving a 77.8% preference for maggots. Emission scanning electron microscopy evaluation also revealed that maggots especially Chrysomyia rufifacies preserved the original condition of the bones better allowing improved elucidation of bone injuries in future real cases.

  7. Costs of Lygus herbivory on cotton associated with farmer decision-making: an ecoinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Rosenheim, Jay A

    2013-06-01

    Because the farmer is typically excluded from the experimental research setting, experimental research may face challenges in evaluating pest management tactics whose costs and benefits hinge on farmer decision-making. In these cases an ecoinformatics approach, in which observational data collected from the commercial farming setting are "mined" to quantify both biological variables and farmer behavior, can complement experimentation as a useful research tool. Here I analyze such an observational data set to characterize associations between early- (June) and mid-season (July) Lygus hesperus Knight populations and farmer decisions to apply plant growth regulators and defoliants. Previous experimental work suggested the hypothesis that Lygus herbivory, by inducing abscission of young flower buds, might generate increased use of plant growth regulators and defoliants. Cotton's ability to compensate for loss of flower buds may, however, increase as plants grow. On upland cotton, June Lygus populations were associated with increased use of plant growth regulators, as expected, but this relationship was not observed for July Lygus populations. June Lygus populations were not associated with the use of defoliants, whereas, surprisingly, July Lygus populations were associated with decreases in defoliant use. In contrast to these positive and negative associations observed on upland cotton, on Pima cotton Lygus populations exhibited no associations with use of either plant growth regulators or defoliants. These results suggest that cotton responses to Lygus herbivory, as demonstrated in previously published experimental studies, can translate into economically meaningful changes in farmer decisions to apply agricultural chemicals.

  8. An improved least cost routing approach for WDM optical network without wavelength converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonani, Luiz H.; Forghani-elahabad, Majid

    2016-12-01

    Routing and wavelength assignment (RWA) problem has been an attractive problem in optical networks, and consequently several algorithms have been proposed in the literature to solve this problem. The most known techniques for the dynamic routing subproblem are fixed routing, fixed-alternate routing, and adaptive routing methods. The first one leads to a high blocking probability (BP) and the last one includes a high computational complexity and requires immense backing from the control and management protocols. The second one suggests a trade-off between performance and complexity, and hence we consider it to improve in our work. In fact, considering the RWA problem in a wavelength routed optical network with no wavelength converter, an improved technique is proposed for the routing subproblem in order to decrease the BP of the network. Based on fixed-alternate approach, the first k shortest paths (SPs) between each node pair is determined. We then rearrange the SPs according to a newly defined cost for the links and paths. Upon arriving a connection request, the sorted paths are consecutively checked for an available wavelength according to the most-used technique. We implement our proposed algorithm and the least-hop fixed-alternate algorithm to show how the rearrangement of SPs contributes to a lower BP in the network. The numerical results demonstrate the efficiency of our proposed algorithm in comparison with the others, considering different number of available wavelengths.

  9. Simulation and training of ultrasound supported anaesthesia: a low-cost approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, T.; Lamontain, M.; Hilpert, J.; Schilling, F.; Tolxdorff, T.

    2010-03-01

    The use of ultrasound imaging technology during techniques of peripheral nerve blockade offers several clinical benefits. Here we report on a new method to educate residents in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. The daily challenge for the anesthesiologists is the 3D angle-depending handling of the stimulation needle and the ultrasound probe while watching the 2D ultrasound image on the monitor. Purpose: Our approach describes how a computer-aided simulation and training set for ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia could be built based on wireless low-cost devices and an interactive simulation of a 2D ultrasound image. For training purposes the injection needle and the ultrasound probe are replaced by wireless Bluetooth-connected 3D tracking devices, which are embedded in WII-mote controllers (Nintendo-Brand). In correlation to the tracked 3D positions of the needle and transducer models the visibility and position of the needle should be simulated in the 2D generated ultrasound image. Conclusion: In future, this tracking and visualization software module could be integrated in a more complex training set, where complex injection paths could be trained based on a 3D segmented model and the training results could be part of a curricular e-learning module.

  10. The Resource Approach to the Analysis of Educational Project Cost. Number 3 in a Series of Monographs on Evaluation in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.

    Comparing or estimating the costs of educational projects by merely using cost-per-student figures is imprecise and ignores area differences in prices. The resource approach to cost analysis begins by determining specific physical resources (such as facilities, staff, equipment, materials, and services) needed for a project. Then the cost of these…

  11. Cost accounting and public reimbursement schemes in Spanish hospitals.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Martínez, Fernando; Abellán-Perpiñán, José-María; Martínez-Pérez, Jorge-Eduardo; Puig-Junoy, Jaume

    2006-08-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a description and analysis of the main costing and pricing (reimbursement) systems employed by hospitals in the Spanish National Health System (NHS). Hospitals cost calculations are mostly based on a full costing approach as opposite to other systems like direct costing or activity based costing. Regional and hospital differences arise on the method used to allocate indirect costs to cost centres and also on the approach used to measure resource consumption. Costs are typically calculated by disaggregating expenditure and allocating it to cost centres, and then to patients and DRGs. Regarding public reimbursement systems, the impression is that unit costs are ignored, except for certain type of high technology processes and treatments.

  12. Multilevel models for cost-effectiveness analyses that use cluster randomised trial data: An approach to model choice.

    PubMed

    Ng, Edmond S-W; Diaz-Ordaz, Karla; Grieve, Richard; Nixon, Richard M; Thompson, Simon G; Carpenter, James R

    2016-10-01

    Multilevel models provide a flexible modelling framework for cost-effectiveness analyses that use cluster randomised trial data. However, there is a lack of guidance on how to choose the most appropriate multilevel models. This paper illustrates an approach for deciding what level of model complexity is warranted; in particular how best to accommodate complex variance-covariance structures, right-skewed costs and missing data. Our proposed models differ according to whether or not they allow individual-level variances and correlations to differ across treatment arms or clusters and by the assumed cost distribution (Normal, Gamma, Inverse Gaussian). The models are fitted by Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Our approach to model choice is based on four main criteria: the characteristics of the data, model pre-specification informed by the previous literature, diagnostic plots and assessment of model appropriateness. This is illustrated by re-analysing a previous cost-effectiveness analysis that uses data from a cluster randomised trial. We find that the most useful criterion for model choice was the deviance information criterion, which distinguishes amongst models with alternative variance-covariance structures, as well as between those with different cost distributions. This strategy for model choice can help cost-effectiveness analyses provide reliable inferences for policy-making when using cluster trials, including those with missing data.

  13. A Systems Approach to Finding Cost-Effective Alternatives to European Ballistic Missile Defense

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

    components. Program Activity Component 1 Aegis AN/ TPY -2 6 PAC-3 Total R&D Costs $111,470,727 $710,333,127 $418,638,759 Total P& C Costs $1,322,766,392...Alternative A Program Activity Component 2 Aegis 1 AN/ TPY -2 1 THAAD Total R&D Costs $222,941,453 $710,333,127 $33,148,803 Total P& C Costs... c . Detection Systems The AN/ TPY -2, the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS), the Sea-Based X-Band (SBX) Radar, and Upgraded Early Warning

  14. Two-Tiered Approach to MRI for Headache: A Cost-Effective Way to Use an Expensive Technology

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Aseem; Reis, Martin; Parsons, Matthew S.; Wippold, Franz J.; Chrisinger, John; Schwedt, Todd J.; Pilgram, Thomas K.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic efficacy and cost implications of a proposed two-tiered approach to MRI in patients with headache. MATERIALS AND METHODS We identified 245 consecutive patients with headache using MRI studies performed at a tertiary care facility between October 2009 and July 2011. Three radiologists prospectively used FLAIR sequences from these MR studies to diagnose underlying abnormality or to identify the need for a comprehensive MRI study. We compared the diagnostic efficacy and the cost implications of such a two-tiered approach with those of conventional MRI from the perspectives of the payer, the patient, and the imaging facility. RESULTS The sensitivity and specificity for two-tiered (83.3% and 100%, respectively) and conventional (91% and 97.8%, respectively) MRI approaches were not significantly different. Assuming a 50% reduction in the payment for the initial limited MRI performed as a first step of the two-tiered approach, this approach would have resulted in 44.8% savings to the payer. A substantial reduction in the scanner utilization time from 4168 minutes to 1249 minutes for the two-tiered approach would have enabled increased throughput at the imaging facility. Although 27 (11%) patients would have been recalled for a comprehensive MRI study in the two-tiered approach, the average time spent in the scanner by each patient would have been less for the two-tiered approach (5.1 minutes vs 17.0 minutes). CONCLUSION A two-tiered approach to MRI can serve as a viable cost-effective alternative to the conventional approach. PMID:23789700

  15. Guaranteed cost consensus protocol design for linear multi-agent systems with sampled-data information: An input delay approach.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yadong; Zhang, Weidong

    2017-03-01

    To investigate the energy consumption involved in a sampled-data consensus process, the problem of guaranteed cost consensus for sampled-data linear multi-agent systems is considered. By using an input delay approach, an equivalent system is constructed to convert the guaranteed cost consensus problem to a guaranteed cost stabilization problem. A sufficient condition for guaranteed cost consensus is given in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs), based on a refined time-dependent Lyapunov functional analysis. Reduced-order protocol design methodologies are proposed, with further discussions on determining sub-optimal protocol gain and enlarging allowable sampling interval bound made as a complement. Simulation results illustrate the effectiveness of the theoretical results.

  16. A cost-effective approach to the development of printed materials: a randomized controlled trial of three strategies.

    PubMed

    Paul, C L; Redman, S; Sanson-Fisher, R W

    2004-12-01

    Printed materials have been a primary mode of communication in public health education. Three major approaches to the development of these materials--the application of characteristics identified in the literature, behavioral strategies and marketing strategies--have major implications for both the effectiveness and cost of materials. However, little attention has been directed towards the cost-effectiveness of such approaches. In the present study, three pamphlets were developed using successive addition of each approach: first literature characteristics only ('C' pamphlet), then behavioral strategies ('C + B' pamphlet) and then marketing strategies ('C + B + M' pamphlet). Each pamphlet encouraged women to join a Pap Test Reminder Service (PTRS). Each pamphlet was mailed to a randomly selected sample of 2700 women aged 50-69 years. Registrations with the PTRS were monitored and 420 women in each pamphlet group were surveyed by telephone. It was reported that the 'C + B' and 'C + B + M' pamphlets were significantly more effective than the 'C' pamphlet. The 'C + B' pamphlet was the most cost-effective of the three pamphlets. There were no significant differences between any of the pamphlet groups on acceptability, knowledge or attitudes. It was suggested that the inclusion of behavioral strategies is likely to be a cost-effective approach to the development of printed health education materials.

  17. To Boost Quality and Cut Costs, Oregon State U. Adopts a Customer-Oriented Approach to Campus Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillen, Liz

    1991-01-01

    At Oregon State University, an investigation into physical plant administration in response to complaints found significant problems with customer service. Adopting an approach called Total Quality Management, the staff identified and resolved problems, improved quality, and reduced cost. Administrators feel the principles could be applied in all…

  18. A Bayesian cost-benefit approach to the determination of sample size in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Takashi; Pezeshk, Hamid; Gittins, John

    2008-01-15

    Current practice for sample size computations in clinical trials is largely based on frequentist or classical methods. These methods have the drawback of requiring a point estimate of the variance of the treatment effect and are based on arbitrary settings of type I and II errors. They also do not directly address the question of achieving the best balance between the cost of the trial and the possible benefits from using the new treatment, and fail to consider the important fact that the number of users depends on the evidence for improvement compared with the current treatment. Our approach, Behavioural Bayes (or BeBay for short), assumes that the number of patients switching to the new medical treatment depends on the strength of the evidence that is provided by clinical trials, and takes a value between zero and the number of potential patients. The better a new treatment, the more the number of patients who want to switch to it and the more the benefit is obtained. We define the optimal sample size to be the sample size that maximizes the expected net benefit resulting from a clinical trial. Gittins and Pezeshk (Drug Inf. Control 2000; 34:355-363; The Statistician 2000; 49(2):177-187) used a simple form of benefit function and assumed paired comparisons between two medical treatments and that the variance of the treatment effect is known. We generalize this setting, by introducing a logistic benefit function, and by extending the more usual unpaired case, without assuming the variance to be known.

  19. Changing the Curation Equation: A Data Lifecycle Approach to Lowering Costs and Increasing Value

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, J.; Hedstrom, M.; Plale, B. A.; Kumar, P.; McDonald, R.; Kooper, R.; Marini, L.; Kouper, I.; Chandrasekar, K.

    2013-12-01

    What if everything that researchers know about their data, and everything their applications know, were directly available to curators? What if all the information that data consumers discover and infer about data were also available? What if curation and preservation activities occurred incrementally, during research projects instead of after they end, and could be leveraged to make it easier to manage research data from the moment of its creation? These are questions that the Sustainable Environments - Actionable Data (SEAD) project, funded as part of the National Science Foundation's DataNet partnership, was designed to answer. Data curation is challenging, but it is made more difficult by the historical separation of data production, data use, and formal curation activities across organizations, locations, and applications, and across time. Modern computing and networking technologies allow a much different approach in which data and metadata can easily flow between these activities throughout the data lifecycle, and in which heterogeneous and evolving data and metadata can be managed. Sustainability research, SEAD's initial focus area, is a clear example of an area where the nature of the research (cross-disciplinary, integrating heterogeneous data from independent sources, small teams, rapid evolution of sensing and analysis techniques) and the barriers and costs inherent in traditional methods have limited adoption of existing curation tools and techniques, to the detriment of overall scientific progress. To explore these ideas and create a sustainable curation capability for communities such as sustainability research, the SEAD team has developed and is now deploying an interacting set of open source data services that demonstrate this approach. These services provide end-to-end support for management of data during research projects; publication of that data into long-term archives; and integration of it into community networks of publications, research

  20. Understanding the reductions in US corn ethanol production costs: an experience curve approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The US is currently the world's largest ethanol producer. An increasing percentage is used as transportation fuel, but debates continue on its cost competitiveness and energy balance. In this study, technological development of ethanol production and resulting cost reductions are investigated by usi...

  1. A Comparable Wage Approach to Geographic Cost Adjustment. Research and Development Report. NCES-2006-321

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Lori L.; Fowler, William J. Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Geographic cost differences present many complications when researchers attempt to make systematic comparisons of educational resources, and failure to address such differences can undermine the equity and adequacy goals of school finance formulas. Therefore, there is considerable interest in developing measures of the cost of education that can…

  2. NEW APPROACHES: Low-cost, high-tech experiments for educational physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jodl, Hans-Jörg; Eckert, Bodo

    1998-07-01

    The advantage of low-cost experiments is obvious and the real-life aspects of high-tech experiments appeal to pupils. The benefits of hands-on experiments that are both low-cost and high-tech are described here. Four detailed examples are given, which include the use of contact lenses and CDs, and other ideas are provided.

  3. Cost implications of different approaches to the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Mugford, M; Piercy, J; Chalmers, I

    1991-01-01

    Because the incidence of both neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and neonatal mortality can be reduced by giving corticosteroids to women expected to deliver preterm and by giving surfactant to babies at high risk of developing hyaline membrane disease, we have considered what effects the adoption of one or both of these preventive policies would have on the costs of neonatal care. We have estimated the effects of treatment from overviews of the relevant controlled trials, and estimated costs from observations of care at one neonatal unit. Our results suggest that if either of these policies is adopted for all babies under 35 weeks' gestation at a drug cost of 150 pounds or less/baby, the overall costs of care would be reduced by between 1 and 10%. The cost per survivor would be reduced by up to 16% even if the drug cost were to be as high as pounds 550/baby. If the policies were to be adopted only for babies under 31 weeks' gestation, both policies would result in a reduction in cost of between 5 and 16%/survivor, although the increased survival resulting from the policies would lead to an increase in overall costs for babies of less then 31 weeks' gestation of between 7 and 32%. PMID:1863120

  4. Measuring Resources in Education: A Comparison of Accounting and the Resource Cost Model Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay G.

    2000-01-01

    The need for programmatic cost information, data compatibility, and understanding input/output relationships are sparking efforts to improve standards for organizing and reporting educational-resource data. Unlike accountants, economists measure resources in real terms and organize information around service delivery, using a resource-cost model.…

  5. Development of cost effective fenceline monitoring approaches to support advanced leak detection and repair strategies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cost-effective fence line and process monitoring systems to support advanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) strategies can enhance protection of public health, facilitate worker safety, and help companies realize cost savings by reducing lost product. The U.S. EPA Office of Re...

  6. Multi-objective optimization approach for cost management during product design at the conceptual phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durga Prasad, K. G.; Venkata Subbaiah, K.; Narayana Rao, K.

    2014-03-01

    The effective cost management during the conceptual design phase of a product is essential to develop a product with minimum cost and desired quality. The integration of the methodologies of quality function deployment (QFD), value engineering (VE) and target costing (TC) could be applied to the continuous improvement of any product during product development. To optimize customer satisfaction and total cost of a product, a mathematical model is established in this paper. This model integrates QFD, VE and TC under multi-objective optimization frame work. A case study on domestic refrigerator is presented to show the performance of the proposed model. Goal programming is adopted to attain the goals of maximum customer satisfaction and minimum cost of the product.

  7. Taguchi Approach to Design Optimization for Quality and Cost: An Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit; Dean, Edwin B.

    1990-01-01

    Calibrations to existing cost of doing business in space indicate that to establish human presence on the Moon and Mars with the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) will require resources, felt by many, to be more than the national budget can afford. In order for SEI to succeed, we must actually design and build space systems at lower cost this time, even with tremendous increases in quality and performance requirements, such as extremely high reliability. This implies that both government and industry must change the way they do business. Therefore, new philosophy and technology must be employed to design and produce reliable, high quality space systems at low cost. In recognizing the need to reduce cost and improve quality and productivity, Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have initiated Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is a revolutionary management strategy in quality assurance and cost reduction. TQM requires complete management commitment, employee involvement, and use of statistical tools. The quality engineering methods of Dr. Taguchi, employing design of experiments (DOE), is one of the most important statistical tools of TQM for designing high quality systems at reduced cost. Taguchi methods provide an efficient and systematic way to optimize designs for performance, quality, and cost. Taguchi methods have been used successfully in Japan and the United States in designing reliable, high quality products at low cost in such areas as automobiles and consumer electronics. However, these methods are just beginning to see application in the aerospace industry. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the Taguchi methods for improving quality and reducing cost, describe the current state of applications and its role in identifying cost sensitive design parameters.

  8. Costs of different strategies for neonatal hearing screening: a modelling approach

    PubMed Central

    Boshuizen, H; van der Lem, G J; Kauffman-de, B; van Zanten, G A; Oudesluys-Murphy, A; Verkerk, P

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To compare the cost effectiveness of various strategies for neonatal hearing screening by estimating the cost per hearing impaired child detected.
DESIGN—Cost analyses with a simulation model, including a multivariate sensitivity analysis. Comparisons of the cost per child detected were made for: screening method (automated auditory brainstem response or otoacoustic emissions); number of stages in the screening process (two or three); target disorder (bilateral hearing loss or both unilateral and bilateral loss); location (at home or at a child health clinic).
SETTING—The Netherlands
TARGET POPULATION—All newborn infants not admitted to neonatal intensive care units.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE—Costs per child detected with a hearing loss of 40 dB or more in the better ear.
RESULTS—Costs of a three stage screening process in child health clinics are €39.0 (95% confidence interval 20.0 to 57.0) per child detected with automated auditory brainstem response compared with €25.0 (14.4 to 35.6) per child detected with otoacoustic emissions. A three stage screening process not only reduces the referral rates, but is also likely to cost less than a two stage process because of the lower cost of diagnostic facilities. The extra cost (over and above a screening programme detecting bilateral losses) of detecting one child with unilateral hearing loss is €1500-4000. With the currently available information, no preference can be expressed for a screening location.
CONCLUSIONS—Three stage screening with otoacoustic emissions is recommended. Whether screening at home is more cost effective than screening at a child health clinic needs further study.

 PMID:11668159

  9. Industry-Cost-Curve Approach for Modeling the Environmental Impact of Introducing New Technologies in Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Kätelhön, Arne; von der Assen, Niklas; Suh, Sangwon; Jung, Johannes; Bardow, André

    2015-07-07

    The environmental costs and benefits of introducing a new technology depend not only on the technology itself, but also on the responses of the market where substitution or displacement of competing technologies may occur. An internationally accepted method taking both technological and market-mediated effects into account, however, is still lacking in life cycle assessment (LCA). For the introduction of a new technology, we here present a new approach for modeling the environmental impacts within the framework of LCA. Our approach is motivated by consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) and aims to contribute to the discussion on how to operationalize consequential thinking in LCA practice. In our approach, we focus on new technologies producing homogeneous products such as chemicals or raw materials. We employ the industry cost-curve (ICC) for modeling market-mediated effects. Thereby, we can determine substitution effects at a level of granularity sufficient to distinguish between competing technologies. In our approach, a new technology alters the ICC potentially replacing the highest-cost producer(s). The technologies that remain competitive after the new technology's introduction determine the new environmental impact profile of the product. We apply our approach in a case study on a new technology for chlor-alkali electrolysis to be introduced in Germany.

  10. Modeling the trade-off between diet costs and methane emissions: A goal programming approach.

    PubMed

    Moraes, L E; Fadel, J G; Castillo, A R; Casper, D P; Tricarico, J M; Kebreab, E

    2015-08-01

    Enteric methane emission is a major greenhouse gas from livestock production systems worldwide. Dietary manipulation may be an effective emission-reduction tool; however, the associated costs may preclude its use as a mitigation strategy. Several studies have identified dietary manipulation strategies for the mitigation of emissions, but studies examining the costs of reducing methane by manipulating diets are scarce. Furthermore, the trade-off between increase in dietary costs and reduction in methane emissions has only been determined for a limited number of production scenarios. The objective of this study was to develop an optimization framework for the joint minimization of dietary costs and methane emissions based on the identification of a set of feasible solutions for various levels of trade-off between emissions and costs. Such a set of solutions was created by the specification of a systematic grid of goal programming weights, enabling the decision maker to choose the solution that achieves the desired trade-off level. Moreover, the model enables the calculation of emission-mitigation costs imputing a trading value for methane emissions. Emission imputed costs can be used in emission-unit trading schemes, such as cap-and-trade policy designs. An application of the model using data from lactating cows from dairies in the California Central Valley is presented to illustrate the use of model-generated results in the identification of optimal diets when reducing emissions. The optimization framework is flexible and can be adapted to jointly minimize diet costs and other potential environmental impacts (e.g., nitrogen excretion). It is also flexible so that dietary costs, feed nutrient composition, and animal nutrient requirements can be altered to accommodate various production systems.

  11. What Does it Really Cost? Allocating Indirect Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Herbert; Davenport, Elisabeth

    1997-01-01

    Better managerial control in terms of decision making and understanding the costs of a system/service result from allocating indirect costs. Allocation requires a three-step process: selecting cost objectives, pooling related overhead costs, and selecting costs bases to connect the objectives to the pooled costs. Argues that activity-based costing…

  12. The chronic care model versus disease management programs: a transaction cost analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Leeman, Jennifer; Mark, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    The present article applies transaction cost analysis as a framework for better understanding health plans' decisions to improve chronic illness management by using disease management programs versus redesigning care within physician practices.

  13. Present-value analysis: A systems approach to public decisionmaking for cost effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, T. T.

    1971-01-01

    Decision makers within Governmental agencies and Congress must evaluate competing (and sometimes conflicting) proposals which seek funding and implementation. Present value analysis can be an effective decision making tool by enabling the formal evaluation of the effects of competing proposals on efficient national resource utilization. A project's costs are not only its direct disbursements, but its social costs as well. How much does it cost to have those funds diverted from their use and economic benefit by the private sector to the public project? Comparisons of competing projects' social costs allow decision makers to expand their decision bases by quantifying the projects' impacts upon the economy and the efficient utilization of the country's limited national resources. A conceptual model is established for the choosing of the appropriate discount rate to be used in evaluation decisions through the technique.

  14. A Collaborative Approach for Providing Low-Cost ELF Monitoring from Ground and Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bleier, T. E.; Franklin, L.

    2003-12-01

    This paper describes a collaborative effort among several groups, including a small business (QuakeFinder,LLC), dozens of high schools in northern California, several universities (Stanford and Cal Poly SLO), and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale to build a combined ground-based and space-based ELF monitoring system. The goal is to monitor and characterize the raw RF spectrum in the ELF band, and to look for pre- and post-earthquake signatures. Previous attempts at monitoring ELF signals associated with earthquakes have always been summarized with the statement, more data is needed. QuakeFinder is a small business that approached the problem with a different strategy. Rather than deploy a few, expensive, commercial high sensitivity, AC magnetometers on the ground, a collaboration was formed with high school physics classes to build a large number of medium sensitivity magnetometers from partially-assembled kits, and to deploy these sensors in a close spacing along the major California earthquake faults. The strategy was to have a 3-axis ELF ground monitor within 15 km of any large (>M5) quake-- before, during, and after the event. To date, 34 sites have been deployed (out of 50 planned), and they now collect and display daily averages from these 3-axis monitors on a web site (www.earthquaketracker.com). Likewise, satellite-based monitoring is severely restricted by the high cost of building and flying space-based ELF monitors. QuakeFinder formed a collaboration between Stanford Space System Development Laboratory and Lockheed Martin to design and build a nano-satellite (4.5 kg) whose mission was to collect ELF background signatures. QuakeFinder built and donated a single axis ELF (1-1000Hz) magnetometer payload and provided integration and a launch opportunity for "QuakeSat I". The satellite was launched on June 30, 2003 into a 820 km circular polar orbit, and has recorded natural signals (lightning, whistlers, auroral noise, and several unidentified signatures) as well

  15. Reduced-form approach for evaluating hospital cost-containment program in paired experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, B.C.

    1980-01-01

    The paper investigates the feasibility, analyzes the project benefit, and establishes the cost-1 effectiveness of the Cooperative Utilization Review Program (CURP), the action plan for cost containment proposed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Company. A statistical evaluation framework is developed for analyzing the effects of the CURP through control and participating hospital selection, impatient discharge data collection, and the average length of stay delineation and explanation by diagnosis. (ACR)

  16. A unified approach for composite cost reporting and prediction in the ACT program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, W. Tom; Vosteen, Louis F.; Siddiqi, Shahid

    1991-01-01

    The Structures Technology Program Office (STPO) at NASA Langley Research Center has held two workshops with representatives from the commercial airframe companies to establish a plan for development of a standard cost reporting format and a cost prediction tool for conceptual and preliminary designers. This paper reviews the findings of the workshop representatives with a plan for implementation of their recommendations. The recommendations of the cost tracking and reporting committee will be implemented by reinstituting the collection of composite part fabrication data in a format similar to the DoD/NASA Structural Composites Fabrication Guide. The process of data collection will be automated by taking advantage of current technology with user friendly computer interfaces and electronic data transmission. Development of a conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model will be initiated. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state of the art preliminary design tools and computer aided design (CAD) programs is assessed.

  17. Funding innovation for treatment for rare diseases: adopting a cost-based yardstick approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Manufacturers justify the high prices for orphan drugs on the basis that the associated R&D costs must be spread over few patients. The proliferation of these drugs in the last three decades, combined with high prices commonly in excess of $100,000 per patient per year are placing a substantial strain on the budgets of drug plans in many countries. Do insurers spend a growing portion of their budgets on small patient populations, or leave vulnerable patients without coverage for valuable treatments? We suggest that a third option is present in the form of a cost-based regulatory mechanism. Methods This article explores the use of a cost-based price control mechanism for orphan drugs, adapted from the standard models applied in utilities regulation. Results and conclusions A rate-of-return style model, employing yardsticked cost allocations and a modified two-stage rate of return calculation could be effective in setting a new standard for orphan drugs pricing. This type of cost-based pricing would limit the costs faced by insurers while continuing to provide an efficient incentive for new drug development. PMID:24237605

  18. Cost of water for peace and the environment in Israel: An integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Frank A.; Becker, Nir

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel's national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.

  19. Implementation of Activity Based Cost Management Aboard Base Installations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-09-01

    Shared Services Concept (After Penn State Briefing) .....................................30 Figure 8. Command Levels and Applicable Tools (From...resulting analysis of this duplication of efforts resulted in what they refer to as the “ Shared Services Concept.” Simply put, there should be “no...more than one of anything in the Base organization.” (Penn State Briefing) This Shared Services concept combined common support services that were

  20. Activity-based costing in services: literature bibliometric review.

    PubMed

    Stefano, Nara Medianeira; Filho, Nelson Casarotto

    2013-12-01

    This article is aimed at structuring a bibliography portfolio to treat the application of the ABC method in service and contribute to discussions within the scientific community. The methodology followed a three-stage procedure: Planning, execution and Synthesis. Also, the process ProKnow-C (Knowledge Process Development - Constructivist) was used in the execution stage. International databases were used to collect information (ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus). As a result, we obtained a bibliography portfolio of 21 articles (with scientific recognition) dealing with the proposed theme.

  1. An example of activity based costing of treatment programs.

    PubMed

    Alemi, Farrokh; Sullivan, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    We introduce a new tool that can be used for estimating number, length of time, and nature of services patient receive in drug treatment programs. While the field has made significant progress in standardizing the collection of expenditure data, little progress has been made on creating a standard measure for estimating program activities and census. We report on a method of estimating program activities.

  2. A participatory approach for selecting cost-effective measures in the WFD context: the Mar Menor (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Perni, Angel; Martínez-Paz, José M

    2013-08-01

    Achieving a good ecological status in water bodies by 2015 is one of the objectives established in the European Water Framework Directive. Cost-effective analysis (CEA) has been applied for selecting measures to achieve this goal, but this appraisal technique requires technical and economic information that is not always available. In addition, there are often local insights that can only be identified by engaging multiple stakeholders in a participatory process. This paper proposes to combine CEA with the active involvement of stakeholders for selecting cost-effective measures. This approach has been applied to the case study of one of the main coastal lagoons in the European Mediterranean Sea, the Mar Menor, which presents eutrophication problems. Firstly, face-to-face interviews were conducted to estimate relative effectiveness and relative impacts of a set of measures by means of the pairwise comparison technique. Secondly, relative effectiveness was used to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios. The most cost-effective measures were the restoration of watercourses that drain into the lagoon and the treatment of polluted groundwater. Although in general the stakeholders approved the former, most of them stated that the latter involved some uncertainties, which must be addressed before implementing it. Stakeholders pointed out that the PoM would have a positive impact not only on water quality, but also on fishing, agriculture and tourism in the area. This approach can be useful to evaluate other programmes, plans or projects related to other European environmental strategies.

  3. Material and energy recovery in integrated waste management systems: a life-cycle costing approach.

    PubMed

    Massarutto, Antonio; de Carli, Alessandro; Graffi, Matteo

    2011-01-01

    A critical assumption of studies assessing comparatively waste management options concerns the constant average cost for selective collection regardless the source separation level (SSL) reached, and the neglect of the mass constraint. The present study compares alternative waste management scenarios through the development of a desktop model that tries to remove the above assumption. Several alternative scenarios based on different combinations of energy and materials recovery are applied to two imaginary areas modelled in order to represent a typical Northern Italian setting. External costs and benefits implied by scenarios are also considered. Scenarios are compared on the base of the full cost for treating the total waste generated in the area. The model investigates the factors that influence the relative convenience of alternative scenarios.

  4. A multidisciplinary approach to the development of low-cost high-performance lightwave networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maitan, Jacek; Harwit, Alex

    1991-01-01

    Our research focuses on high-speed distributed systems. We anticipate that our results will allow the fabrication of low-cost networks employing multi-gigabit-per-second data links for space and military applications. The recent development of high-speed low-cost photonic components and new generations of microprocessors creates an opportunity to develop advanced large-scale distributed information systems. These systems currently involve hundreds of thousands of nodes and are made up of components and communications links that may fail during operation. In order to realize these systems, research is needed into technologies that foster adaptability and scaleability. Self-organizing mechanisms are needed to integrate a working fabric of large-scale distributed systems. The challenge is to fuse theory, technology, and development methodologies to construct a cost-effective, efficient, large-scale system.

  5. A cost-effective approach to microporate mammalian cells with the Neon Transfection System.

    PubMed

    Brees, Chantal; Fransen, Marc

    2014-12-01

    Electroporation is one of the most efficient nonviral methods for transferring exogenous DNA into mammalian cells. However, the relatively high costs of electroporation kits and reagents temper the routine use of this fast and easy to perform technique in many laboratories. Several years ago, a new flexible and easy to operate electroporation device was launched under the name Neon Transfection System. This device uses specialized pipette tips containing gold-plated electrodes as electroporation chamber. Here we report a protocol to regenerate these expensive tips as well as some other Neon kit accessories, thereby reducing the cost of electroporation at least 10-fold.

  6. Hurricane risk assessment to rollback or ride out a cost versus loss decision making approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wohlman, Richard A.

    1992-01-01

    The potential exists that a hurricane striking the Kennedy Space Center while a Space Shuttle is on the pad. Winds in excess of 74.5 knots could cause the failure of the holddown bolts bringing about the catastrophic loss of the entire vehicle. Current plans call for the rollback of the shuttle when winds of that magnitude are forecast to strike the center. As this is costly, a new objective method for making rollback/rideout decisions based upon Bayesian Analysis and economic cost versus loss is presented.

  7. Emergent Challenges in Determining Costs for Economic Evaluations.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Josephine C; Barnett, Paul G

    2017-02-01

    This paper describes methods of determining costs for economic evaluations of healthcare and considers how cost determination is being affected by recent developments in healthcare. The literature was reviewed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the four principal methods of cost determination: micro-costing, activity-based costing, charge-based costing, and gross costing. A scoping review was conducted to identify key trends in healthcare delivery and to identify costing issues associated with these changes. Existing guidelines provide information on how to implement various costing methods. Bottom-up costing is needed when accuracy is paramount, but top-down approaches are often the only feasible approach. We describe six healthcare trends that have important implications for costing methodology: (1) reform in payment mechanisms; (2) care delivery in less restrictive settings; (3) the growth of telehealth interventions; (4) the proliferation of new technology; (5) patient privacy concerns; and (6) growing efforts to implement guidelines. Some costs are difficult to measure and have been overlooked. These include physician services for inpatients, facility costs for outpatient services, the cost of developing treatment innovations, patient and caregiver costs, and the indirect costs of organizational interventions. Standardized methods are needed to determine social welfare and productivity costs. In the future, cost determination will be facilitated by technological advances but hindered by the shift to capitated payment, to the provision of care in less restrictive settings, and by heightened concern for medical record privacy.

  8. The BOS-X approach: achieving drastic cost reduction in CPV through holistic power plant level innovation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plesniak, A.; Garboushian, V.

    2012-10-01

    In 2011, the Amonix Advanced Technology Group was awarded DOE SunShot funding in the amount of 4.5M to design a new Balance of System (BOS) architecture utilizing Amonix MegaModules™ focused on reaching the SunShot goal of 0.06-$0.08/kWhr LCOE. The project proposal presented a comprehensive re-evaluation of the cost components of a utility scale CPV plant and identified critical areas of focus where innovation is needed to achieve cost reduction. As the world's premier manufacturer and most experienced installer of CPV power plants, Amonix is uniquely qualified to lead a rethinking of BOS architecture for CPV. The presentation will focus on the structure of the BOS-X approach, which looks for the next wave of cost reduction in CPV through evaluation of non-module subsystems and the interaction between subsystems during the lifecycle of a solar power plant. Innovation around nonmodule components is minimal to date because CPV companies are just now getting enough practice through completion of large projects to create ideas and tests on how to improve baseline designs and processes. As CPV companies increase their installed capacity, they can utilize an approach similar to the methodology of BOS-X to increase the competitiveness of their product. Through partnership with DOE, this holistic approach is expected to define a path for CPV well aligned with the goals of the SunShot Initiative.

  9. Understanding the Uncertainty of an Effectiveness-Cost Ratio in Educational Resource Allocation: A Bayesian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pan, Yilin

    2016-01-01

    Given the necessity to bridge the gap between what happened and what is likely to happen, this paper aims to explore how to apply Bayesian inference to cost-effectiveness analysis so as to capture the uncertainty of a ratio-type efficiency measure. The first part of the paper summarizes the characteristics of the evaluation data that are commonly…

  10. Low cost sensors: Field evaluations and multi-sensor approaches for emissions factors

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development, and application of low cost sensors to measure both particulate and gas-phase air pollutants is poised to explode over the next several years. The need for the sensors is driven by poor air quality experienced in inhabited regions throughout the world, in both de...

  11. A Total Systems Approach: Reducing Workers' Compensation Costs at UC Davis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukulinsky, Janet C.

    1993-01-01

    The University of California (Davis) has revamped its workers' compensation program by improving accountability and safety, implementing safety training, informing workers of the costs of the workers' compensation program, designating a physician and physical therapist, giving light duty to injured employees, using sports medicine techniques, and…

  12. Understanding Wind Power Costs: The Value of a Comprehensive Approach (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Lantz, E.

    2013-05-01

    The evolution and maturity of the wind industry have often been assessed by considering changes in key metrics including capital costs, capacity factor, turbine pricing, and in some cases electricity sales data. However, wind turbines and plants represent a complex system optimization problem and each of these metrics, in isolation, fails to tell the complete story of technological progress and industry advancement. By contrast, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) provides a more comprehensive and nuanced perspective on industry trends. LCOE can be used to analyze the effect of individual changes (by holding other variables constant) or to understand the complex interactions that might occur for example between turbine costs and productivity. Moreover, LCOE offers a reflection of the total production costs and required revenue for wind plants. This presentation provides examples of how a narrow focus on individual industry metrics can provide inaccurate representations of industry trends while also demonstrating how LCOE captures the array of critical industry variables to provide a greater level of insight.

  13. A PRELIMINARY METHODOLOGY FOR EVALUATING THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF ALTERNATIVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY APPROACHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report defines a simplified methodology that can be used by indoor air quality (IAQ) diagnosticians, architects/engineers, building owners/operators, and the scientific community for preliminary comparison of the cost-effectiveness of alternative IAQ control measures for any ...

  14. A Systems Approach to Lower Cost Missions: Following the Rideshare Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrell, L.

    2009-01-01

    Small-satellite rideshare capabilities and opportunities for low-cost access to space have been evolving over the past 10 years. Small space launch vehicle technology is rapidly being developed and demonstrated, including the Minotaur series and the Space X Falcon, among others, along with the lower cost launch facilities at Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, and the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific. Demonstrated capabilities for the launch of multiple payloads have increased (and continue to increase) significantly. This will allow more efficient and cost-effective use of the various launch opportunities, including utilizing the excess capacity of the emerging Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-based missions. The definition of standardized interfaces and processes, along with various user guides and payload implementation plans, has been developed and continues to be refined. Top-level agency policies for the support of low-cost access to space for small experimental payloads, such as the DoD policy structure on auxiliary payloads, have been defined and provide the basis for the continued refinement and implementation of these evolving technologies. Most importantly, the coordination and cooperative interfaces between the various stakeholders continues to evolve. The degree of this coordination and technical interchange is demonstrated by the wide stakeholder participation at the recent 2008 Small Payload Rideshare Workshop, held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. This annual workshop has been the major platform for coordination and technical interchange within the rideshare community and with the various sponsoring agencies. These developments have provided the foundation for a robust low-cost small payload rideshare capability. However, the continued evolution, sustainment, and utilization of these capabilities will require continued stakeholder recognition, support, and nourishing. Ongoing, coordinated effort, partnering, and

  15. Evidence for Composite Cost Functions in Arm Movement Planning: An Inverse Optimal Control Approach

    PubMed Central

    Berret, Bastien; Chiovetto, Enrico; Nori, Francesco; Pozzo, Thierry

    2011-01-01

    An important issue in motor control is understanding the basic principles underlying the accomplishment of natural movements. According to optimal control theory, the problem can be stated in these terms: what cost function do we optimize to coordinate the many more degrees of freedom than necessary to fulfill a specific motor goal? This question has not received a final answer yet, since what is optimized partly depends on the requirements of the task. Many cost functions were proposed in the past, and most of them were found to be in agreement with experimental data. Therefore, the actual principles on which the brain relies to achieve a certain motor behavior are still unclear. Existing results might suggest that movements are not the results of the minimization of single but rather of composite cost functions. In order to better clarify this last point, we consider an innovative experimental paradigm characterized by arm reaching with target redundancy. Within this framework, we make use of an inverse optimal control technique to automatically infer the (combination of) optimality criteria that best fit the experimental data. Results show that the subjects exhibited a consistent behavior during each experimental condition, even though the target point was not prescribed in advance. Inverse and direct optimal control together reveal that the average arm trajectories were best replicated when optimizing the combination of two cost functions, nominally a mix between the absolute work of torques and the integrated squared joint acceleration. Our results thus support the cost combination hypothesis and demonstrate that the recorded movements were closely linked to the combination of two complementary functions related to mechanical energy expenditure and joint-level smoothness. PMID:22022242

  16. Nutrient-dense food groups have high energy costs: an econometric approach to nutrient profiling.

    PubMed

    Maillot, Matthieu; Darmon, Nicole; Darmon, Michel; Lafay, Lionel; Drewnowski, Adam

    2007-07-01

    Consumers wishing to replace some of the foods in their diets with more nutrient-dense options need to be able to identify such foods on the basis of nutrient profiling. The present study used nutrient profiling to rank 7 major food groups and 25 subgroups in terms of their contribution to dietary energy, diet quality, and diet cost for 1332 adult participants in the French National INCA1 Study. Nutrient profiles were based on the presence of 23 qualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of nutrient adequacy per 8 MJ, and 3 negative or disqualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of the maximal recommended values for saturated fatty acids, added sugar, and sodium per 1.4 kg. Calculated cost of energy (euro/8 MJ) was based on the mean retail price of 619 foods in the nutrient composition database. The meat and the fruit and vegetables food groups had the highest nutritional quality but were associated with highest energy costs. Sweets and salted snacks had the lowest nutritional quality but were also one of the least expensive sources of dietary energy. Starches and grains were unique because they were low in disqualifying nutrients yet provided low-cost dietary energy. Within each major food group, some subgroups had a higher nutritient-to-price ratio than others. However, the fact that food groups with the more favorable nutrient profiles were also associated with higher energy costs suggests that the present structure of food prices may be a barrier to the adoption of food-based dietary guidelines, at least by low-income households.

  17. Measuring Resources in Education: From Accounting to the Resource Cost Model Approach. Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay G.

    This report describes two alternative approaches to measuring resources in K-12 education. One approach relies heavily on traditional accounting data, whereas the other draws on detailed information about the jobs and assignments of individual school personnel. It outlines the differences between accounting and economics and discusses how each…

  18. Estimation of in-situ bioremediation system cost using a hybrid Extreme Learning Machine (ELM)-particle swarm optimization approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Basant; Ch, Sudheer; Mathur, Shashi; Adamowski, Jan

    2016-12-01

    In-situ bioremediation is the most common groundwater remediation procedure used for treating organically contaminated sites. A simulation-optimization approach, which incorporates a simulation model for groundwaterflow and transport processes within an optimization program, could help engineers in designing a remediation system that best satisfies management objectives as well as regulatory constraints. In-situ bioremediation is a highly complex, non-linear process and the modelling of such a complex system requires significant computational exertion. Soft computing techniques have a flexible mathematical structure which can generalize complex nonlinear processes. In in-situ bioremediation management, a physically-based model is used for the simulation and the simulated data is utilized by the optimization model to optimize the remediation cost. The recalling of simulator to satisfy the constraints is an extremely tedious and time consuming process and thus there is need for a simulator which can reduce the computational burden. This study presents a simulation-optimization approach to achieve an accurate and cost effective in-situ bioremediation system design for groundwater contaminated with BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes) compounds. In this study, the Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) is used as a proxy simulator to replace BIOPLUME III for the simulation. The selection of ELM is done by a comparative analysis with Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) as they were successfully used in previous studies of in-situ bioremediation system design. Further, a single-objective optimization problem is solved by a coupled Extreme Learning Machine (ELM)-Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) technique to achieve the minimum cost for the in-situ bioremediation system design. The results indicate that ELM is a faster and more accurate proxy simulator than ANN and SVM. The total cost obtained by the ELM-PSO approach is held to a minimum

  19. A propensity score approach to estimating the cost-effectiveness of medical therapies from observational data.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Nandita; Indurkhya, Alka

    2005-08-01

    Health summary measures are commonly used by policy makers to help make decisions on the allocation of societal resources for competing medical treatments. The net monetary benefit is a health summary measure that overcomes the statistical limitations of a popular measure namely, the cost-effectiveness ratio. We introduce a linear model framework to estimate propensity score adjusted net monetary benefit. This method provides less biased estimates in the presence of significant differences in baseline measures and demographic characteristics between treatment groups in quasi-randomized or observational studies. Simulation studies were conducted to better understand the utility of propensity score adjusted estimates of net monetary benefits when important covariates are unobserved. The results indicated that the propensity score adjusted net monetary benefit provides a robust measure of cost-effectiveness in the presence of hidden bias. The methods are illustrated using data from SEER-Medicare for the treatment of bladder cancer.

  20. Estimating the demand for drop-off recycling sites: a random utility travel cost approach.

    PubMed

    Sidique, Shaufique F; Lupi, Frank; Joshi, Satish V

    2013-09-30

    Drop-off recycling is one of the most widely adopted recycling programs in the United States. Despite its wide implementation, relatively little literature addresses the demand for drop-off recycling. This study examines the demand for drop-off recycling sites as a function of travel costs and various site characteristics using the random utility model (RUM). The findings of this study indicate that increased travel costs significantly reduce the frequency of visits to drop-off sites implying that the usage pattern of a site is influenced by its location relative to where people live. This study also demonstrates that site specific characteristics such as hours of operation, the number of recyclables accepted, acceptance of commingled recyclables, and acceptance of yard-waste affect the frequency of visits to drop-off sites.

  1. Multigrid Approach to Solving the Long Transportation Problem on a Regular Grid in Cost Space

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-06-01

    feasible solution has an optimal solution ( Bazaraa , 1990). Some traditional solution methods are presf-nted next. D. THE SIMPLEX METHOD Whenever feasible...root to every node in D. If the solution to a minimal cost flow problem is examined graphically it corresponds to a spanning tree in the network ( Bazaraa ...REFERENCES Balas, Egon, "Solution of Large-Scale Transportation Problems Through Aggregation," Operations Research, 13, 1965, pp. 82-84. Bazaraa , M.S

  2. A Macro-Stochastic Approach to Improved Cost Estimation for Defense Acquisition Programs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-27

    unclassified data are used, since consistency of reporting and ease of data aggregation are crucial to completion in the 7 requisite research time...attributes cost growth to macroeconomic factors, such as war, defense budgetary trends, and acquisition reforms. These factors are not typically...component of the program (Hough, 1992). These changes must be tracked separately, but aggregated to acquire the complete picture of the program

  3. Combating the Military’s Escalating Pharmacy Costs: A Lean Six Sigma Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    product or service” remains (Apte & Kang, 2006, p.10). Furthermore, Lean focuses on the elimination or reduction of eight types of wastes. These...wastes according to Apte & Kang (2006) are, “Human, Talent, Over- production , Waiting time, Transportation, Processing, Inventory, Motion, and Scrap...Apte & Kang, 2006, p.10). When waste is eliminated, benefits such as reduced production time, quality improvement, and cost reduction are attained

  4. Determining the optimal approach to improving trauma triage decisions: a cost-effectiveness analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Deepika; Barnato, Amber E; Rosengart, Matthew R; Angus, Derek C; Smith, Kenneth J

    2013-01-01

    Objective To identify the optimal target of a future intervention to improve physician decision making in trauma triage. Study Design A comparison of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of current practice versus hypothetical interventions targeting either physicians’ decisional thresholds (attitudes towards transferring patients to trauma centers) or perceptual sensitivity (ability to identify patients who meet guidelines for transfer). Methods Taking the societal perspective, we constructed a Markov decision model. We drew estimates of triage patterns, mortality, utilities, and costs from the literature. We assumed that an intervention to change decisional threshold would reduce under-triage but also increase over-triage more than an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity. We performed a series of one-way sensitivity analyses, and studied the most influential variables in a Monte Carlo simulation. Results The ICER of an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity was $62,799/ quality-adjusted life years (QALY)-gained compared with current practice. The ICER of an intervention to change decisional threshold was $104,975/QALY-gained compared with an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity. These findings were most sensitive to the relative cost of hospitalizing patients with moderate-severe injuries and their relative risk of dying at non-trauma centers. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/QALY-gained, there was a 62% likelihood that an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity was the most cost-effective alternative. Conclusions Even a minor investment in changing decision making in trauma triage could greatly improve the quality of care provided. The optimal intervention depends on the characteristics of the individual trauma systems. PMID:22435966

  5. The Social Discount Rate: Some Implications of the Budget-Constrained Opportunity Cost Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-03-01

    convex inequality constraints is a sufficient optimality condition for KKT (or KKT convexity conditions ) [p.139, 2]. In general, the optimum...solution found using KKT conditions is local, and there is no assurance of a global optimization . The KKT convexity condition used here is sufficient ...used to represent the relationship between the benefit and cost of various projects. The Karesh-Kuhn-Tucker ( KKT )

  6. A Hedonic Approach to Estimating Software Cost Using Ordinary Least Squares Regression and Nominal Attribute Variables

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-01

    14 T. Capers Jones states that using functional points requires a certain amount of subjectivity that can lead to complications with the...Network, (June 2004). 29 July 2005 http://ssrn.com/abstract=569875 Foss, Tron, Erik Stensrud, Barbara Kitchenham, and Ingunn Myrtveit. “A...Company-Specific Data,” Information and Software Technology, 42:1009-1016 (2000). Jones, T. Capers . Estimating Software Costs. New York: McGraw-Hill

  7. Developments toward a Low-Cost Approach for Long-Term, Unattended Vapor Intrusion Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Tolley, William K.

    2014-01-01

    There are over 450,000 sites contaminated by chemicals in the US. This large number of contaminated sites and the speed of subsurface migration of chemicals pose considerable risk to nearby residences and commercial buildings. The high costs for monitoring around these site stem from the labor involved in placing and replacing the passive sorbent vapor samplers and the resultant laboratory analysis. This monitoring produces sparse data sets that do not track temporal changes well. To substantially reduce costs and better track exposures, less costly, unattended systems for monitoring soil gases and vapor intrusion into homes and businesses are desirable to aid in the remediation of contaminated sites. This paper describes progress toward the development of an inexpensive system specifically for monitoring vapor intrusion; the system can operate repeatedly without user intervention with low detection limits (1 × 10−9, or 1 part-per-billion). Targeted analytes include chlorinated hydrocarbons (dichloroethylene, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene) and benzene. The system consists of a trap-and-purge preconcentrator for vapor collection in conjunction with a compact gas chromatography instrument to separate individual compounds. Chemical detection is accomplished with an array of chemicapacitors and a metal-oxide semiconductor combustibles sensor. Both the preconcentrator and the chromatography column are resistively heated. All components are compatible with ambient air, which serves as the carrier gas for the gas chromatography and detectors. PMID:24903107

  8. Developments toward a low-cost approach for long-term, unattended vapor intrusion monitoring.

    PubMed

    Patel, Sanjay V; Tolley, William K

    2014-08-07

    There are over 450 000 sites contaminated by chemicals in the US. This large number of contaminated sites and the speed of subsurface migration of chemicals pose considerable risk to nearby residences and commercial buildings. The high costs for monitoring around these sites stem from the labor involved in placing and replacing the passive sorbent vapor samplers and the resultant laboratory analysis. This monitoring produces sparse data sets that do not track temporal changes well. To substantially reduce costs and better track exposures, less costly, unattended systems for monitoring soil gases and vapor intrusion into homes and businesses are desirable to aid in the remediation of contaminated sites. This paper describes progress toward the development of an inexpensive system specifically for monitoring vapor intrusion; the system can operate repeatedly without user intervention with low detection limits (1 × 10(-9), or 1 part-per-billion). Targeted analytes include chlorinated hydrocarbons (dichloroethylene, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene) and benzene. The system consists of a trap-and-purge preconcentrator for vapor collection in conjunction with a compact gas chromatography instrument to separate individual compounds. Chemical detection is accomplished with an array of chemicapacitors and a metal-oxide semiconductor combustibles sensor. Both the preconcentrator and the chromatography column are resistively heated. All components are compatible with ambient air, which serves as the carrier gas for the gas chromatography and detectors.

  9. Low-Cost Approach to the Design and Fabrication of a LOX/RP-1 Injector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shadoan, Michael D.; Sparks, Dave L.; Turner, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has designed, built, and is currently testing Fastrac, a liquid oxygen (LOX)/RP-1 fueled 60K-lb thrust class rocket engine. One facet of Fastrac, which makes it unique is that it is the first large-scale engine designed and developed in accordance with the Agency's mandated "faster, better, cheaper" (FBC) program policy. The engine was developed under the auspices of MSFC's Low Cost Boost Technology office. Development work for the main injector actually began in 1993 in subscale form. In 1996, work began on the full-scale unit approximately 1 year prior to initiation of the engine development program. In order to achieve the value goals established by the FBC policy, a review of traditional design practices was necessary. This internal reevaluation would ultimately challenge more conventional methods of material selection. design process, and fabrication techniques. The effort was highly successful. This "new way" of thinking has resulted in an innovative injector design, one with reduced complexity and significantly lower cost. Application of lessons learned during this effort to new or existing designs can have a similar effect on costs and future program successes.

  10. Physiological cost and thermal envelope: a novel approach to cycle garment evaluation during a representative protocol.

    PubMed

    Corbett, J; Barwood, M J; Tipton, M J

    2015-04-01

    This study aimed to examine thermoregulation in different clothing assemblies during a representative cycling exercise protocol. Six men undertook cycling exercise simulating representative thermal exchange challenges while wearing low (LOW), intermediate (INT1 and INT2), or high (HI) amounts of clothing. Exercise was conducted at 14.5 °C, 46.8% relative humidity and included a "flat" [45 min at 35% peak power output (PPO), wind speed 8.3 m/s], "uphill" (30 min at 55% PPO, wind speed 3.6 m/s), and "downhill" (20 min at 50 W, wind speed 16.7 m/s) stage. Rectal temperature changed with the exercise stage and was independent of clothing assembly. In contrast, an "envelope" was evident for mean body temperature, resulting from differences in mean skin temperature between the LOW and HI conditions. The elevated mean body temperature in HI was associated with increased physiological "cost," in the form of increased sweat production and heart rate. Physiological cost provides a better index of clothing performance than deep body temperature in the "thermoregulatory zone," as a consequence sports clothing should attempt to optimize the balance between comfort and reduced physiological cost.

  11. A Randomized Trial Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of 2 Approaches for Treating Unilateral Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Katherine A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; Repka, Michael X.; Beck, Roy W.; Foster, Nicole C.; Frick, Kevin D.; Golden, Richard P.; Lambert, Scott R.; Melia, Michele; Tien, D. Robbins; Weakley, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To compare the cost-effectiveness of two approaches for treating unilateral nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) Methods 163 infants 6 to <10 months old with unilateral NLDO were randomly assigned to immediate office-based nasolacrimal duct probing (N=82) or to six months of observation/non-surgical management (N=81) followed by facility-based probing for persistent symptoms. Main Outcome Measures Treatment success was defined as the absence of clinical signs of NLDO (epiphora, increased tear lake, mucous discharge) upon masked examination at 18 months of age. Cost of treatment between randomization and 18 months of age included costs for all surgeries and medications. Results In the observation/deferred facility probing group, NLDO resolved within 6 months without surgery in 44 of the 67 patients (66%, 95% confidence interval (CI)=54% to 76%) who completed the 6-month visit. Twenty-two (27%) of the 81 patients in the observation/deferred facility probing group underwent surgery, 4 of whom were operated within the initial 6 months. At 18 months of age, 69 (92%) of 75 immediate office probing group patients were treatment successes, compared with 58 (82%) of 71 observation/deferred facility probing group patients (difference=10%, 95%CI=−1% to 21%). The average cost of treatment was $562 in the immediate office probing group compared with $701 in the observation/deferred facility probing group (difference=−$139, 95%CI=−$377 to $94). The immediate office probing group had 3.0 fewer months of symptoms (95%CI=−1.8 to −4.0). Conclusions The immediate office probing approach is likely more cost effective than observation followed by deferred facility probing if needed. Adoption of the immediate office probing approach would result in probing about two-thirds of infants who would have resolved with 6 months of non-surgical management, but would largely avoid the need for probing under general anesthesia. Application to Clinical Practice Although

  12. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C. ); Michael, J.B. )

    1993-01-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  13. Joint pricing and production management: a geometric programming approach with consideration of cubic production cost function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadjadi, Seyed Jafar; Hamidi Hesarsorkh, Aghil; Mohammadi, Mehdi; Bonyadi Naeini, Ali

    2014-08-01

    Coordination and harmony between different departments of a company can be an important factor in achieving competitive advantage if the company corrects alignment between strategies of different departments. This paper presents an integrated decision model based on recent advances of geometric programming technique. The demand of a product considers as a power function of factors such as product's price, marketing expenditures, and consumer service expenditures. Furthermore, production cost considers as a cubic power function of outputs. The model will be solved by recent advances in convex optimization tools. Finally, the solution procedure is illustrated by numerical example.

  14. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C.; Michael, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  15. A multilevel cost-space approach to solving the balanced long transportation problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanaugh, Kevin J.; Henson, Van Emden

    1993-01-01

    We develop a multilevel scheme for solving the balanced long transportation problem, that is, given a set (c(sub kj)) of shipping costs from a set of M supply nodes S(sub k) to a set of N demand nodes D(sub j), we seek to find a set of flows, (x(sub kj)), that minimizes the total cost Sigma(sub k=1)(exp M) Sigma(sub j=1)(exp N) x(sub kj)c(sub kj). We require that the problem be balanced, that is, the total demand must equal the total supply. Solution techniques for this problem are well known from optimization and linear programming. We examine this problem, however, in order to develop principles that can then be applied to more intractible problems of optimization. We develop a multigrid scheme for solving the problem, defining the grids, relaxation, and intergrid operators. Numerical experimentation shows that this line of research may prove fruitful. Further research directions are suggested.

  16. Reducing monitoring costs in industrially contaminated rivers: cluster and regression analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Ruman, M; Olkowska, E; Kozioł, K; Absalon, D; Matysik, M; Polkowska, Ż

    2014-03-01

    Monitoring contamination in river water is an expensive procedure, particularly for developing countries where pollution is a significant problem. This study was conducted to provide a pollution monitoring strategy that reduces the cost of laboratory analysis. The new monitoring strategy was designed as a result of cluster and regression analysis on field data collected from an industrially influenced river. Pollution sources in the study site were coal mining, metallurgy, chemical industry, and metropolitan sewage. This river resembles those in other areas of the world, including developing countries where environmental monitoring is financially constrained. Data were collected on variability of contaminant concentrations during four seasons at the same points on tributaries of the river. The variables described in the study are pH, electrical conductivity, inorganic ions, trace elements, and selected organic pollutants. These variables were divided into groups using cluster analysis. These groups were then tested using regression models to identify how the behavior of one variable changes in relation to another. It was found that up to 86.8% of variability of one parameter could be determined by another in the dataset. We adopted 60, 65, and 70% determination levels () for accepting a regression model. As a result, monitoring could be reduced by 15 (60% level) and 10 variables (65 and 70%) out of 43, which comprises 35 and 23% of the monitored variable total. Cost reduction would be most effective if trace elements or organic pollutants were excluded from monitoring because these are the constituents most expensive to analyze.

  17. Cost-effective approach to ethanol production and optimization by response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Uncu, Oya Nihan; Cekmecelioglu, Deniz

    2011-04-01

    Food wastes disposed from residential and industrial kitchens have gained attention as a substrate in microbial fermentations to reduce product costs. In this study, the potential of simultaneously hydrolyzing and subsequently fermenting the mixed carbohydrate components of kitchen wastes were assessed and the effects of solid load, inoculum volume of baker's yeast, and fermentation time on ethanol production were evaluated by response surface methodology (RSM). The enzymatic hydrolysis process was complete within 6h. Fermentation experiments were conducted at pH 4.5, a temperature of 30°C, and agitated at 150 rpm without adding the traditional fermentation nutrients. The statistical analysis of the model developed by RSM suggested that linear effects of solid load, inoculum volume, and fermentation time and the quadratic effects of inoculum volume and fermentation time were significant (P<0.05). The verification experiments indicated that the developed model could be successfully used to predict ethanol concentration at >90% accuracy. An optimum ethanol concentration of 32.2g/l giving a yield of 0.40g/g, comparable to yields reported to date, was suggested by the model with 20% solid load, 8.9% inoculum volume, and 58.8h of fermentation. The results indicated that the production costs can be lowered to a large extent by using kitchen wastes having multiple carbohydrate components and eliminating the use of traditional fermentation nutrients from the recipe.

  18. The design and implementation of a low-cost GPS-MEMS/INS precision approach algorithm with health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Richard P.

    An algorithm for precision approach guidance using GPS and a MicroElectroMechanical Systems/Inertial Navigation System (MEMS/INS) has been developed to meet the Required Navigational Performance (RNP) at a cost that is suitable for General Aviation (GA) applications. This scheme allows for accurate approach guidance (Category I) using Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) at locations not served by ILS, MLS or other types of precision landing guidance, thereby greatly expanding the number of useable airports in poor weather. At locations served by a Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS), Category III-like navigation is possible with the novel idea of a Missed Approach Time (MAT) that is similar to a Missed Approach Point (MAP) but not fixed in space. Though certain augmented types of GPS have sufficient precision for approach navigation, its use alone is insufficient to meet RNP due to an inability to monitor loss, degradation or intentional spoofing and meaconing of the GPS signal. A redundant navigation system and a health monitoring system must be added to acquire sufficient reliability, safety and time-to-alert as stated by required navigation performance. An inertial navigation system is the best choice, as it requires no external radio signals and its errors are complementary to GPS. An aiding Kalman filter is used to derive parameters that monitor the correlation between the GPS and MEMS/INS. These approach guidance parameters determines the MAT for a given RNP and provide the pilot or autopilot with proceed/do-not-proceed decision in real time. The enabling technology used to derive the guidance program is a MEMS gyroscope and accelerometer package in conjunction with a single-antenna pseudo-attitude algorithm. To be viable for most GA applications, the hardware must be reasonably priced. The MEMS gyros allows for the first cost-effective INS package to be developed. With lower cost, however, comes higher drift rates and a more dependence on GPS aiding. In

  19. A risk-reduction approach for optimal software release time determination with the delay incurred cost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Rui; Li, Yan-Fu; Zhang, Jun-Guang; Li, Xiang

    2015-07-01

    Most existing research on software release time determination assumes that parameters of the software reliability model (SRM) are deterministic and the reliability estimate is accurate. In practice, however, there exists a risk that the reliability requirement cannot be guaranteed due to the parameter uncertainties in the SRM, and such risk can be as high as 50% when the mean value is used. It is necessary for the software project managers to reduce the risk to a lower level by delaying the software release, which inevitably increases the software testing costs. In order to incorporate the managers' preferences over these two factors, a decision model based on multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) is developed for the determination of optimal risk-reduction release time.

  20. Frontier Fields: A Cost-Effective Approach to Bringing Authentic Science to the Education Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhamer, B.; Lawton, B.; Summers, F.; Ryer, H.

    2015-11-01

    For more than two decades, the Hubble EPO program has sought to bring the wonders of the universe to the education community and the public, and to engage audiences in the adventure of scientific discovery. Program components include standards-based, curriculum-support materials, exhibits and exhibit components, and professional development workshops. The main underpinnings of the program's infrastructure are scientist-educator development teams, partnerships, and an embedded program evaluation component. The Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach is leveraging this existing infrastructure to bring the Frontier Fields science program to the education community in a cost-effective way. Frontier Fields observations and results have been, and will continue to be, embedded into existing product lines and professional development offerings. We also are leveraging our new social media strategy to bring the science program to the public in the form of an ongoing blog.

  1. A heat & mass integration approach to reduce capital and operating costs of a distillation configuration

    SciTech Connect

    Madenoor Ramapriya, Gautham; Jiang, Zheyu; Tawarmalani, Mohit; Agrawal, Rakesh

    2015-11-11

    We propose a general method to consolidate distillation columns of a distillation configuration using heat and mass integration. The proposed method encompasses all heat and mass integrations known till date, and includes many more. Each heat and mass integration eliminates a distillation column, a condenser, a reboiler and the heat duty associated with a reboiler. Thus, heat and mass integration can potentially offer significant capital and operating cost benefits. In this talk, we will study the various possible heat and mass integrations in detail, and demonstrate their benefits using case studies. This work will lay out a framework to synthesize an entire new class of useful configurations based on heat and mass integration of distillation columns.

  2. Living off the land: the practical low-cost approach to piloted Mars missions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zubrin, R. M.

    This paper investigates means for achieving human expeditions to Mars utilizing existing or near-term technology. Both mission plans described here, Mars Direct and Semi-Direct are accomplished with tandem direct launches of payloads to Mars using the upper stages of the heavy lift booster used to lift the payloads to orbit. No on-orbit assembly of large interplanetary spacecraft is required. In situ-propellant production of CH4/O2 and H2O on the Martian surface is used to reduce return propellant and surface consumable requirements, and thus total mission mass and cost. The proposed surface systems payload manifest is presented, and mission back-up plans are described. It is concluded that both the Mars Direct and Semi-Direct plans offer viable options for robust piloted Mars missions employing near-term technology.

  3. Design of a Medical Image Management System: A Practical Cost-Effective Approach

    PubMed Central

    Seshadri, S.B.; Arenson, R.L.; van der Voorde, F.; Khalsa, S.; Kundel, H.; Brikman, I.

    1986-01-01

    Most developmental efforts in the Medical Image Management System (MIMS) arena have focused either on a personal-computer based, inferior-quality, user-unfriendly version for teleradiology which is achievable today, or on the very expensive, technologically-difficult, user-unfriendly but futuristic all-digital system. This presentation will discuss a practical, cost-effective medium-resolution system for archiving, review and comparison. The design of a MIMS will be considered from three perspectives: [List: see text] A prototype MIMS that is presently serving our Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and undergoing clinical trials will be briefly described. A plan to expand this to a hospital wide MIMS will be presented.

  4. Deburring: Technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, lessons 3 and 4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, L. K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  5. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 1 and 2

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-12-01

    This two-lesson text on deburring provides engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and capabilities. The subject matter includes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plant-wide approaches, and burr formation and prevention. Deburring methods discussed include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lesson 1 is an introduction to burr technology; Lesson 2 discusses burr formation and properties.

  6. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, Lessons 3 and 4

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  7. A system dynamic modeling approach for evaluating municipal solid waste generation, landfill capacity and related cost management issues.

    PubMed

    Kollikkathara, Naushad; Feng, Huan; Yu, Danlin

    2010-11-01

    As planning for sustainable municipal solid waste management has to address several inter-connected issues such as landfill capacity, environmental impacts and financial expenditure, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the dynamic nature of their interactions. A system dynamics approach designed here attempts to address some of these issues by fitting a model framework for Newark urban region in the US, and running a forecast simulation. The dynamic system developed in this study incorporates the complexity of the waste generation and management process to some extent which is achieved through a combination of simpler sub-processes that are linked together to form a whole. The impact of decision options on the generation of waste in the city, on the remaining landfill capacity of the state, and on the economic cost or benefit actualized by different waste processing options are explored through this approach, providing valuable insights into the urban waste-management process.

  8. A system dynamic modeling approach for evaluating municipal solid waste generation, landfill capacity and related cost management issues

    SciTech Connect

    Kollikkathara, Naushad; Feng Huan; Yu Danlin

    2010-11-15

    As planning for sustainable municipal solid waste management has to address several inter-connected issues such as landfill capacity, environmental impacts and financial expenditure, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the dynamic nature of their interactions. A system dynamics approach designed here attempts to address some of these issues by fitting a model framework for Newark urban region in the US, and running a forecast simulation. The dynamic system developed in this study incorporates the complexity of the waste generation and management process to some extent which is achieved through a combination of simpler sub-processes that are linked together to form a whole. The impact of decision options on the generation of waste in the city, on the remaining landfill capacity of the state, and on the economic cost or benefit actualized by different waste processing options are explored through this approach, providing valuable insights into the urban waste-management process.

  9. Parametric Cost Deployment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.

    1995-01-01

    Parametric cost analysis is a mathematical approach to estimating cost. Parametric cost analysis uses non-cost parameters, such as quality characteristics, to estimate the cost to bring forth, sustain, and retire a product. This paper reviews parametric cost analysis and shows how it can be used within the cost deployment process.

  10. A multi-scale approach to cost/benefit analyses of landslide prevention vs. post-event actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salbego, G.; Floris, M.; Busnardo, E.; Toaldo, M.

    2015-02-01

    The main aim of this paper is to test economic benefits of landslide prevention measures vs. post-event emergency actions. To this end, small and large scale analyses were performed in a training area located in the North-Eastern Italian pre-Alps that was hit by an exceptional rainfall event occurred in November 2010. At the small-scale, landslide susceptibility was initially assessed using a simple probabilistic analysis, which allowed to highlight the main landslide conditioning factors and the most hazardous areas. However, this approach revealed to be quite insufficient to reach planned goals, so a large-scale case-by-case analysis was performed: a study case was defined, according to landslide occurrence frequency and assessment of elements at risk. Numerical modeling demonstrated that remedial works carried out after the landslide - water-removal intervention such as a drainage trench - could have improved slope stability if applied before its occurrence. Then, a cost-benefit analysis was finally employed. It defined that prevention would have been economically convenient compared to a non-preventive and passive attitude, allowing a 30% saving relative to total costs. Therefore, this kind of approach could be actually used as a mean toward preventive soil protection not only within the investigated case study, but also in all those hazardous areas where preventive measures are needed.

  11. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  12. Low Cost Beam-Steering Approach for a Series-Fed Array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Host, Nicholas K.; Chen, Chi-Chih; Volakis, John L.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Phased array antennas showcase many advantages over mechanically steered systems. However, they are also more complex and costly. This paper presents a concept which overcomes these detrimental attributes by eliminating all of the phased array backend (including phase shifters). Instead, a propagation constant reconfigurable transmission line in a series fed array arrangement is used to allow phase shifting with one small (less than or equal to 100mil) linear mechanical motion. A novel slotted coplanar stripline design improves on previous transmission lines by demonstrating a greater control of propagation constant, thus allowing practical prototypes to be built. Also, beam steering pattern control is explored. We show that with correct choice of line impedance, pattern control is possible for all scan angles. A 20 element array scanning from -25 deg less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 21 deg. with mostly uniform gain at 13GHz is presented. Measured patterns show a reduced scan range of 12 deg. less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 25 deg. due to a correctable manufacturing error as verified by simulation. Beam squint is measured to be plus or minus 2.5 deg for a 600MHz bandwidth and cross-pol is measured to be at least -15dB.

  13. A Mars environmental survey (MESUR) - Feasibility of a low cost global approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, G. S.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Sarver, George L.; Hanel, Robert P.; Ramos, Ruben

    1991-01-01

    In situ measurements of Mars' surface and atmosphere are the objectives of a novel network mission concept called the Mars Environmental SURvey (MESUR). As envisioned, the MESUR mission will emplace a pole-to-pole global distribution of 16 landers on the Martian surface over three launch opportunites using medium-lift (Delta-class) launch vehicles. The basic concept is to deploy small free-flying probes which would directly enter the Martian atmosphere, measure the upper atmospheric structure, image the local terrain before landing, and survive landing to perform meteorology, seismology, surface imaging, and soil chemistry measurements. Data will be returned via dedicated relay orbiter or direct-to-earth transmission. The mission philosophy is to: (1) 'grow' a network over a period of years using a series of launch opportunities; (2) develop a level-of-effort which is flexible and responsive to a broad set of objectives; (3) focus on Mars science while providing a solid basis for future human presence; and (4) minimize overall project cost and complexity wherever possible.

  14. Electrochemistry-based approaches to low cost, high sensitivity, automated, multiplexed protein immunoassays for cancer diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Dixit, Chandra K; Kadimisetty, Karteek; Otieno, Brunah A; Tang, Chi; Malla, Spundana; Krause, Colleen E; Rusling, James F

    2016-01-21

    Early detection and reliable diagnostics are keys to effectively design cancer therapies with better prognoses. The simultaneous detection of panels of biomarker proteins holds great promise as a general tool for reliable cancer diagnostics. A major challenge in designing such a panel is to decide upon a coherent group of biomarkers which have higher specificity for a given type of cancer. The second big challenge is to develop test devices to measure these biomarkers quantitatively with high sensitivity and specificity, such that there are no interferences from the complex serum or tissue matrices. Lastly, integrating all these tests into a technology that does not require exclusive training to operate, and can be used at point-of-care (POC) is another potential bottleneck in futuristic cancer diagnostics. In this article, we review electrochemistry-based tools and technologies developed and/or used in our laboratories to construct low-cost microfluidic protein arrays for the highly sensitive detection of a panel of cancer-specific biomarkers with high specificity which at the same time has the potential to be translated into POC applications.

  15. Low-cost approaches to problem-driven hydrologic research: The case of Arkavathy watershed, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, V.; Ballukraya, P. N.; Jeremiah, K.; R, A.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater depletion is a major problem in the Arkavathy Basin and it is the probable cause of declining flows in the Arkavathy River. However, investigating groundwater trends and groundwater-surface water linkages is extremely challenging in a data-scarce environment where basins are largely ungauged so there is very little historical data; often the data are missing, flawed or biased. Moreover, hard-rock aquifer data are very difficult to interpret. In the absence of reliable data, establishing a trend let alone the causal linkages is a severe challenge. We used a combination of low-cost, participatory, satellite based and conventional data collection methods to maximize spatial and temporal coverage of data. For instance, long-term groundwater trends are biased because only a few dug wells with non-representative geological conditions still have water - the vast majority of the monitoring wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s have dried up. Instead, we relied on "barefoot hydrology" techniques. By conducting a comprehensive well census, engaging farmers in participatory groundwater monitoring and using locally available commercial borewell scanning techniques we have been able to better establish groundwater trends and spatial patterns.

  16. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach to Auxilliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger Jr.; Keith Seymour; Kanchan Angal; Jason Wolf; Steve Brewer; Leonard Schrank

    2003-09-26

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  17. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach To Auxiliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger; Kanchan Angal; Steve Brewer; Steve Kraihanzel; Lenny Schrank; Jason Wolf

    2003-07-15

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  18. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Dessie, Awrajaw; Alemayehu, Esayas; Mekonen, Seblework; Legesse, Worku; Kloos, Helmut; Ambelu, Argaw

    2014-01-10

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries.

  19. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries. PMID:24410979

  20. Sequential sampling: A cost-effective approach for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates in environmental impact assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Resh, V.H.; Price, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sequential sampling is a method for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates that can significantly reduce the number of samples required to reach a decision, and consequently, decrease the cost of benthic sampling in environmental impact assessments. Rather than depending on a fixed number of samples, this analysis cumulatively compares measured parameter values (for example, density, community diversity) from individual samples, with thresholds that are based on specified degrees of precision. In addition to reducing sample size, a monitoring program based on sequential sampling can provide clear-cut decisions as to whether a priori-defined changes in the measured parameter(s) have or have not occurred. As examples, sequential sampling programs have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy development on benthic macroinvertebrate diversity at The Geysers, California, and for monitoring the impact of crude oil contamination on chironomid midge (Cricotopus bicinctus (Meigen) and C. mackenziensis Oliver) population densities in the Trail River, Northwest Territories, Canada.

  1. Electrochemistry-based Approaches to Low Cost, High Sensitivity, Automated, Multiplexed Protein Immunoassays for Cancer Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Dixit, Chandra K.; Kadimisetty, Karteek; Otieno, Brunah A.; Tang, Chi; Malla, Spundana; Krause, Colleen E.; Rusling, James F.

    2015-01-01

    Early detection and reliable diagnostics are keys to effectively design cancer therapies with better prognoses. Simultaneous detection of panels of biomarker proteins holds great promise as a general tool for reliable cancer diagnostics. A major challenge in designing such a panel is to decide upon a coherent group of biomarkers which have higher specificity for a given type of cancer. The second big challenge is to develop test devices to measure these biomarkers quantitatively with high sensitivity and specificity, such that there are no interferences from the complex serum or tissue matrices. Lastly, integrating all these tests into a technology that doesn’t require exclusive training to operate, and can be used at point-of-care (POC) is another potential bottleneck in futuristic cancer diagnostics. In this article, we review electrochemistry-based tools and technologies developed and/or used in our laboratories to construct low-cost microfluidic protein arrays for highly sensitive detection of the panel of cancer-specific biomarkers with high specificity and at the same time have the potential to be translated into a POC. PMID:26525998

  2. Surgical Approach and Anesthetic Modality for Carpal Tunnel Release: A Nationwide Database Study With Health Care Cost Implications.

    PubMed

    Foster, Brock D; Sivasundaram, Lakshmanan; Heckmann, Nathanael; Cohen, Jeremiah R; Pannell, William C; Wang, Jeffrey C; Ghiassi, Alidad

    2017-03-01

    Background: Carpal tunnel release (CTR) is commonly performed for carpal tunnel syndrome once conservative treatment has failed. Operative technique and anesthetic modality vary by surgeon preference and patient factors. However, CTR practices and anesthetic trends have, to date, not been described on a nationwide scale in the United States. Methods: The PearlDiver Patient Records Database was used to search Current Procedural Terminology codes for elective CTR from 2007 to 2011. Anesthetic modality (eg, general and regional anesthesia vs local anesthesia) and surgical approach (eg, endoscopic vs open) were recorded for this patient population. Cost analysis, patient demographics, regional variation, and annual changes in CTR surgery were evaluated. Results: We identified 86 687 patients who underwent carpal tunnel surgery during this 5-year time period. In this patient sample, 80.5% of CTR procedures were performed using general or regional anesthesia, compared with 19.5% of procedures performed using local anesthesia; 83.9% of all CTR were performed in an open fashion, and 16.1% were performed using an endoscopic technique. Endoscopic surgery was on average $794 more expensive than open surgery, and general or regional anesthesia was $654 more costly than local anesthesia. Conclusions: In the United States, open CTR under local anesthesia is the most cost-effective way to perform a CTR. However, only a small fraction of elective CTR procedures are performed with this technique, representing a potential area for significant health care cost savings. In addition, regional and age variations exist in procedure and anesthetic type utilized.

  3. Corruption costs lives: a cross-country study using an IV approach.

    PubMed

    Lio, Mon-Chi; Lee, Ming-Hsuan

    2016-04-01

    This study quantitatively estimates the effects of corruption on five major health indicators by using recent cross-country panel data covering 119 countries for the period of 2005-2011. The corruption indicators provided by the World Bank and Transparency International are used, and both the two-way fixed effect and the two-stage least squares approaches are employed for our estimation. The estimation results show that, in general, corruption is negatively associated with a country's health outcomes. A lower level of corruption or a better control of corruption in a country can lead to longer life expectancy, a lower infant mortality rate and a lower under-five mortality rate for citizens. However, our estimation finds no significant association between corruption and individual diseases including human immunodeficiency virus prevalence and tuberculosis incidence. The findings suggest that corruption reduction itself is an effective method to promote health. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Image stacking approach to increase sensitivity of fluorescence detection using a low cost complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) webcam

    PubMed Central

    Balsam, Joshua; Bruck, Hugh Alan; Kostov, Yordan; Rasooly, Avraham

    2013-01-01

    Optical technologies are important for biological analysis. Current biomedical optical analyses rely on high-cost, high-sensitivity optical detectors such as photomultipliers, avalanched photodiodes or cooled CCD cameras. In contrast, Webcams, mobile phones and other popular consumer electronics use lower-sensitivity, lower-cost optical components such as photodiodes or CMOS sensors. In order for consumer electronics devices, such as webcams, to be useful for biomedical analysis, they must have increased sensitivity. We combined two strategies to increase the sensitivity of CMOS-based fluorescence detector. We captured hundreds of low sensitivity images using a Webcam in video mode, instead of a single image typically used in cooled CCD devices.We then used a computational approach consisting of an image stacking algorithm to remove the noise by combining all of the images into a single image. While video mode is widely used for dynamic scene imaging (e.g. movies or time-lapse photography), it is not used to capture a single static image, which removes noise and increases sensitivity by more than thirty fold. The portable, battery-operated Webcam-based fluorometer system developed here consists of five modules: (1) a low cost CMOS Webcam to monitor light emission, (2) a plate to perform assays, (3) filters and multi-wavelength LED illuminator for fluorophore excitation, (4) a portable computer to acquire and analyze images, and (5) image stacking software for image enhancement. The samples consisted of various concentrations of fluorescein, ranging from 30 μM to 1000 μM, in a 36-well miniature plate. In the single frame mode, the fluorometer's limit-of-detection (LOD) for fluorescein is ∼1000 μM, which is relatively insensitive. However, when used in video mode combined with image stacking enhancement, the LOD is dramatically reduced to 30 μM, sensitivity which is similar to that of state-of-the-art ELISA plate photomultiplier-based readers. Numerous medical

  5. MISCLASSIFICATION OF ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME AFTER TRAUMATIC INJURY: THE COST OF LESS RIGOROUS APPROACHES

    PubMed Central

    Hendrickson, Carolyn M; Dobbins, Sarah; Redick, Brittney J; Greenberg, Molly D; Calfee, Carolyn S; Cohen, Mitchell Jay

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Adherence to rigorous research protocols for identifying acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after trauma is variable. To examine how misclassification of ARDS may bias observational studies in trauma populations, we evaluated the agreement of two methods for adjudicating ARDS after trauma: the gold standard, direct review of chest radiographs and review of dictated radiology reports, a commonly used alternative. METHODS This nested cohort study included 123 mechanically ventilated patients between 2005–2008, with at least one PaO2:FiO2 <300 within the first 8 days of admission. Two blinded physician investigators adjudicated ARDS by two methods. The investigators directly reviewed all chest radiographs to evaluate for bilateral infiltrates. Several months later, blinded to their previous assessments, they adjudicated ARDS using a standardized rubric to classify radiology reports. A kappa statistics was calculated. Regression analyses quantified the association between established risk factors as well as important clinical outcomes and ARDS determined by the aforementioned methods as well as hypoxemia as a surrogate marker. RESULTS The kappa was 0.47 for the observed agreement between ARDS adjudicated by direct review of chest radiographs and ARDS adjudicated by review of radiology reports. Both the magnitude and direction of bias on the estimates of association between ARDS and established risk factors as well as clinical outcomes varied by method of adjudication. CONCLUSION Classification of ARDS by review of dictated radiology reports had only moderate agreement with the gold standard, ARDS adjudicated by direct review of chest radiographs. While the misclassification of ARDS had varied effects on the estimates of associations with established risk factors, it tended to weaken the association of ARDS with important clinical outcomes. A standardized approach to ARDS adjudication after trauma by direct review of chest radiographs will minimize

  6. The promise--and peril--of integrated cost systems.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R; Kaplan, R S

    1998-01-01

    Recent advances in managerial accounting have helped executives get the information they need to make good strategic decisions. But today's enterprise resource planning systems promise even greater benefits--the chance to integrate activity-based costing, operational-control, and financial reporting systems. But managers need to approach integration very thoughtfully, or they could end up with a system that drives decision making in the wrong direction. Operational-control and ABC systems have fundamentally different purposes. Their requirements for accuracy, timeliness, and aggregation are so different that no single, fully integrated approach can be adequate for both purposes. If an integrated system used real-time cost data instead of standard rates in its ABC subsystem, for example, the result would be dangerously distorted messages about individual product profitability--and that's precisely the problem ABC systems were originally designed to address. Proper linkage and feedback between the two systems is possible, however. Through activity-based budgeting, the ABC system is linked directly to operations control: managers can determine the supply and practical capacity of resources in forthcoming periods. Linking operational control to ABC is also possible. The activity-based portion of an operational control system collects information that, while it mustn't be fed directly into the activity-based strategic cost system, can be extremely useful once it's been properly analyzed. Finally, ABC and operational control can be linked to financial reporting to generate cost of goods sold and inventory valuations--but again, with precautions.

  7. Three-Stage Production Cost Modeling Approach for Evaluating the Benefits of Intra-Hour Scheduling between Balancing Authorities

    SciTech Connect

    Samaan, Nader A.; Milligan, Michael; Hunsaker, Matthew; Guo, Tao

    2015-07-30

    This paper introduces a Production Cost Modeling (PCM) approach to evaluate the benefits of intra-hour scheduling between Balancing Authorities (BAs). The system operation is modeled in a three-stage sequential manner: day ahead (DA)-hour ahead (HA)-real time (RT). In addition to contingency reserve, each BA will need to carry out “up” and “down” load following and regulation reserve capacity requirements in the DA and HA time frames. In the real-time simulation, only contingency and regulation reserves are carried out as load following is deployed. To model current real-time operation with hourly schedules, a new constraint was introduced to force each BA net exchange schedule deviation from HA schedules to be within NERC ACE limits. Case studies that investigate the benefits of moving from hourly exchange schedules between WECC BAs into 10-min exchange schedules under two different levels of wind and solar penetration (11% and 33%) are presented.

  8. Estimating Suicide Rates in Developing Nations: A Low-Cost Newspaper Capture-Recapture Approach in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Harris, Keith M; Thandrayen, Joanne; Samphoas, Chien; Se, Pros; Lewchalermwongse, Boontriga; Ratanashevorn, Rattanakorn; Perry, Megan L; Britts, Choloe

    2016-04-01

    This study tested a low-cost method for estimating suicide rates in developing nations that lack adequate statistics. Data comprised reported suicides from Cambodia's 2 largest newspapers. Capture-recapture modeling estimated a suicide rate of 3.8/100 000 (95% CI = 2.5-6.7) for 2012. That compares to World Health Organization estimates of 1.3 to 9.4/100 000 and a Cambodian government estimate of 3.5/100 000. Suicide rates of males were twice that of females, and rates of those <40 years were twice that of those ≥40 years. Capture-recapture modeling with newspaper reports proved a reasonable method for estimating suicide rates for countries with inadequate official data. These methods are low-cost and can be applied to regions with at least 2 newspapers with overlapping reports. Means to further improve this approach are discussed. These methods are applicable to both recent and historical data, which can benefit epidemiological work, and may also be applicable to homicides and other statistics.

  9. Laser generated microstructures in tape cast electrodes for rapid electrolyte wetting: new technical approach for cost efficient battery manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfleging, W.; Kohler, R.; Pröll, J.

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) battery architectures are under current scientific investigation since they can achieve large areal energy capacities while maintaining high power densities. A main objective of surface patterning is the enhancement of lithium-ion diffusion which is often a limiting factor in lithium-ion cells. By using a rather new approach, laser material processing of thick-film electrodes has been investigated for the precise adjustment of 3D surface topography. Besides lithium-ion diffusion in electrode materials as an electrochemically limited process, a critical step in lithium-ion pouch cell manufacturing is the homogeneous electrolyte wetting of stacked electrodes and separators. This process requires cost expensive and time-consuming vacuum and storage processes at elevated temperatures. A new and cost efficient laser process has been successfully applied in order to significantly improve the electrode wetting and the battery operation. Preliminary investigations for testing the process on pouch cell geometry revealed higher capacities and increased cell life-time compared to standard cells without storage processes at elevated temperatures. The laser structuring process can be applied to commercial electrode materials and integrated into existing production lines.

  10. A modeling approach for agricultural water management in citrus orchards: cost-effective irrigation scheduling and agrochemical transport simulation.

    PubMed

    Kourgialas, Nektarios N; Karatzas, George P

    2015-07-01

    The water flow and the mass transport of agrochemicals in the unsaturated and saturated zone were simulated in the extended alluvial basin of Keritis river in Crete, Greece (a predominantly flat and most productive citrus growing area) using the hydrological model MIKE SHE. This model was set up based on information on land use, geology, soil structure, meteorological data, as well as groundwater level data from pumping wells. Additionally, field measurements of the soil moisture at six different locations from three soil depths (0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 m) were used as targets to calibrate and validate the unsaturated flow model while for saturated condition, groundwater level data from three well locations were used. Following the modeling approach, the agrochemical mass transport simulation was performed as well, based on different application doses. After the successful calibration processes, the obtained 1D modeling results of soil moisture-pressure related to soil depth at different locations were used to design a proper and cost-effective irrigation programme (irrigation timing, frequency, application rates, etc.) for citrus orchards. The results of the present simulation showed a very good correlation with the field measurements. Based on these results, a proper irrigation plan can be designed at every site of the model domain reducing the water consumption up to 38% with respect to the common irrigation practices and ensuring the citrus water productivity. In addition, the effect of the proposed irrigation scheduling on citrus yield was investigated. Regarding the agrochemical concentration in the groundwater for all dose cases was below the maximum permissible limit. The only exception was for the highest dose in areas where the water table is high. Thus, this modeling approach could be used as a tool for appropriate water management in an agricultural area estimating at each time and location the availability of soil water, contributing to a cost

  11. COST EFFECTIVE REGULATORY APPROACHES TO ENHANCE DOMESTIC OIL & GAS PRODUCTION AND ENSURE THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Ben Grunewald; Paul Jehn; Tom Gillespie; Ben Binder

    2004-12-21

    The Environmental Information Management Suite/Risk Based Data Management System (EIMS/RBDMS) and Cost Effective Regulatory Approach (CERA) programs continue to be successful. All oil and gas state regulatory programs participate in these efforts. Significant accomplishments include: streamline regulatory approaches, enhancing environmental protection, and making oil and gas data available via the Internet. Oil and gas companies worldwide now have access to data on state web sites. This reduces the cost of exploration and enables companies to develop properties in areas that would have been cost prohibited for exploration. Early in project, GWPC and State Oil and Gas agencies developed the EIMS and CERA strategic plan to prioritize long term development and implementation. The planning process identifies electronic commerce and coal bed methane as high priorities. The group has involved strategic partners in industry and government to develop a common data exchange process. Technical assistance to Alaska continues to improve their program management capabilities. New initiatives in Alaska include the development of an electronic permit tracking system. This system allows managers to expedite the permitting process. Nationwide, the RBDMS system is largely completed with 22 states and one Indian Nation now using this nationally accepted data management system. Additional remaining tasks include routine maintenance and the installation of the program upon request for the remaining oil and gas states. The GWPC in working with the BLM and MMS to develop an XML schema to facilitate electronic permitting and reporting (Appendix A, B, and C). This is a significant effort and, in years to come, will increase access to federal lands by reducing regulatory barriers. The new initiatives are coal bed methane and e-commerce. The e-commerce program will provide industry and BLM/MMS access to the millions of data points housed in the RBDMS system. E-commerce will streamline

  12. Student Lead Nanosatellite Design/Build Projects: making a cost effective approach to Earth and Space Observational Science even more cost efficient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottoms, J.; Lange, B. A.; AlbertaSat

    2011-12-01

    With the advancement of technologies and the miniaturization of sensors and electrical/computational components satellites are also undergoing miniaturization. With lower manufacturing cost and a decreased design/build cycle (~2 years from start to launch), compared to conventional large scale satellites, nanosatellites have become a cost effective alternative for satellite Earth and Space Observations. The University of Alberta student nanosatellite (10x10x30cm; <4kg) design/build team, AlbertaSat-1, is a participant in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) implemented by the CSA and Geocentrix Ltd. in addition to 15 other Universities from across Canada. AlbertaSat-1 will be launched in early 2013, after a 2 year design/build process and environmental testing. AlbertaSat-1 will be an Earth Observation satellite monitoring GHG (CO2, H2O & CH4) concentrations over many regions of the earth with the use of a NIR spectrometer. Here we present the planning, design and future manufacturing of AlbertaSat-1 with a focus on budget and cost effective solutions. Since this is a student project, AlbertaSat-1 will incur certain benefits making them exempt from certain financial requirements and obtaining services and equipment at very low or no cost. The largest cost benefit of AlbertaSat-1 is the virtual elimination of labor costs by having a team consisting of only unpaid students. Labor costs of typical satellite missions can be a very costly component. The educational components of such projects offer more indirect benefits to effective development of this industry/discipline, nevertheless just as important, by developing skills and knowledge that can only be learned through realistic hands on design/build projects. Student lead projects and student design/build initiatives such as CSDC (among many others in the U.S. and Europe lead by NASA and ESA, respectively) will have a major impact on shaping the future of Space and Earth Observational Sciences. We will

  13. Should HIV testing for all pregnant women continue? Cost-effectiveness of universal antenatal testing compared to focused approaches across high to very low HIV prevalence settings

    PubMed Central

    Ishikawa, Naoko; Dalal, Shona; Johnson, Cheryl; Hogan, Daniel R; Shimbo, Takuro; Shaffer, Nathan; Pendse, Razia N; Lo, Ying-Ru; Ghidinelli, Massimo N; Baggaley, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Introduction HIV testing is the entry point for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Decreasing external funding for the HIV response in some low- and middle-income countries has triggered the question of whether a focused approach to HIV testing targeting pregnant women in high-burden areas should be considered. This study aimed at determining and comparing the cost-effectiveness of universal and focused HIV testing approaches for pregnant women across high to very low HIV prevalence settings. Methods We conducted a modelling analysis on health and cost outcomes of HIV testing for pregnant women using four country-based case scenarios (Namibia, Kenya, Haiti and Viet Nam) to illustrate high, intermediate, low and very low HIV prevalence settings. We used subnational prevalence data to divide each country into high-, medium- and low-burden areas, and modelled different antenatal and testing coverage in each. Results When HIV testing services were only focused in high-burden areas within a country, mother-to-child transmission rates remained high ranging from 18 to 23%, resulting in a 25 to 69% increase in new paediatric HIV infections and increased future treatment costs for children. Universal HIV testing was found to be dominant (i.e. more QALYs gained with less cost) compared to focused approaches in the Namibia, Kenya and Haiti scenarios. The universal approach was also very cost-effective compared to focused approaches, with $ 125 per quality-adjusted life years gained in the Viet Nam-based scenario of very low HIV prevalence. Sensitivity analysis further supported the findings. Conclusions Universal approach to antenatal HIV testing achieves the best health outcomes and is cost-saving or cost-effective in the long term across the range of HIV prevalence settings. It is further a prerequisite for quality maternal and child healthcare and for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. PMID:27978939

  14. [Calculation of workers' health care costs].

    PubMed

    Rydlewska-Liszkowska, Izabela

    2006-01-01

    In different health care systems, there are different schemes of organization and principles of financing activities aimed at ensuring the working population health and safety. Regardless of the scheme and the range of health care provided, economists strive for rationalization of costs (including their reduction). This applies to both employers who include workers' health care costs into indirect costs of the market product manufacture and health care institutions, which provide health care services. In practice, new methods of setting costs of workers' health care facilitate regular cost control, acquisition of detailed information about costs, and better adjustment of information to planning and control needs in individual health care institutions. For economic institutions and institutions specialized in workers' health care, a traditional cost-effect calculation focused on setting costs of individual products (services) is useful only if costs are relatively low and the output of simple products is not very high. But when products form aggregates of numerous actions like those involved in occupational medicine services, the method of activity based costing (ABC), representing the process approach, is much more useful. According to this approach costs are attributed to the product according to resources used during different activities involved in its production. The calculation of costs proceeds through allocation of all direct costs for specific processes in a given institution. Indirect costs are settled on the basis of resources used during the implementation of individual tasks involved in the process of making a new product. In this method, so called map of processes/actions consisted in the manufactured product and their interrelations are of particular importance. Advancements in the cost-effect for the management of health care institutions depend on their managerial needs. Current trends in this regard primarily depend on treating all cost reference

  15. How to calculate the annual costs of NGO-implemented programmes to support orphans and vulnerable children: a six-step approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Information on the costs of implementing programmes designed to provide support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere is increasingly being requested by donors for programme evaluation purposes. To date, little information exists to document the costs and structure of costs of OVC programmes as actually implemented "on the ground" by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis provides a practical, six-step approach that NGOs can incorporate into routine operations to evaluate their costs of implementing their OVC programmes annually. This approach is applied to the Community-Based Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CBCO) Program implemented by BIDII (a Kenyan NGO) in Eastern Province of Kenya. Methods and results The costing methodology involves the following six steps: accessing and organizing the NGO's annual financial report into logical sub-categories; reorganizing the sub-categories into input cost categories to create a financial cost profile; estimating the annual equivalent payment for programme equipment; documenting donations to the NGO for programme implementation; including a portion of NGO organizational costs not attributed to specific programmes; and including the results of Steps 3-5 into an expanded cost profile. Detailed results are provided for the CBCO programme. Conclusions This paper shows through a concrete example how NGOs implementing OVC programmes (and other public health programmes) can organize themselves for data collection and documentation prospectively during the implementation of their OVC programmes so that costing analyses become routine practice to inform programme implementation rather than a painful and flawed retrospective activity. Such information is required if the costs and outcomes achieved by OVC programmes will ever be clearly documented and compared across OVC programmes and other types of programmes (prevention, treatment, etc.). PMID:22182588

  16. Cost-effective approaches for high-resolution bioimaging by time-stretched confocal microscopy at 1μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Terence T. W.; Qiu, Yi; Lau, Andy K. S.; Xu, JingJiang; Chan, Antony C. S.; Wong, Kenneth K. Y.; Tsia, Kevin K.

    2012-12-01

    Optical imaging based on time-stretch process has recently been proven as a powerful tool for delivering ultra-high frame rate (< 1MHz) which is not achievable by the conventional image sensors. Together with the capability of optical image amplification for overcoming the trade-off between detection sensitivity and speed, this new imaging modality is particularly valuable in high-throughput biomedical diagnostic practice, e.g. imaging flow cytometry. The ultra-high frame rate in time-stretch imaging is attained by two key enabling elements: dispersive fiber providing the time-stretch process via group-velocity-dispersion (GVD), and electronic digitizer. It is well-known that many biophotonic applications favor the spectral window of ~1μm. However, reasonably high GVD (< 0.1 ns/nm) in this range can only be achieved by using specialty single-mode fiber (SMF) at 1μm. Moreover, the ultrafast detection has to rely on the state-of- the-art digitizer with significantly wide-bandwidth and high sampling rate (e.g. <10 GHz, <40 GS/s). These stringent requirements imply the prohibitively high-cost of the system and hinder its practical use in biomedical diagnostics. We here demonstrate two cost-effective approaches for realizing time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm: (i) using the standard telecommunication SMF (e.g. SMF28) to act as a few-mode fiber (FMF) at 1μm for the time-stretch process, and (ii) implementing the pixel super-resolution (SR) algorithm to restore the high-resolution (HR) image when using a lower-bandwidth digitizer. By using a FMF (with a GVD of ~ 0.15ns/nm) and a modified pixel-SR algorithm, we can achieve time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm with cellular resolution (~ 3μm) at a frame rate 1 MHz.

  17. Comparative review of three cost-effectiveness models for rotavirus vaccines in national immunization programs; a generic approach applied to various regions in the world

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This study aims to critically review available cost-effectiveness models for rotavirus vaccination, compare their designs using a standardized approach and compare similarities and differences in cost-effectiveness outcomes using a uniform set of input parameters. Methods We identified various models used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination. From these, results using a standardized dataset for four regions in the world could be obtained for three specific applications. Results Despite differences in the approaches and individual constituting elements including costs, QALYs Quality Adjusted Life Years and deaths, cost-effectiveness results of the models were quite similar. Differences between the models on the individual components of cost-effectiveness could be related to some specific features of the respective models. Sensitivity analysis revealed that cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination is highly sensitive to vaccine prices, rotavirus-associated mortality and discount rates, in particular that for QALYs. Conclusions The comparative approach followed here is helpful in understanding the various models selected and will thus benefit (low-income) countries in designing their own cost-effectiveness analyses using new or adapted existing models. Potential users of the models in low and middle income countries need to consider results from existing studies and reviews. There will be a need for contextualization including the use of country specific data inputs. However, given that the underlying biological and epidemiological mechanisms do not change between countries, users are likely to be able to adapt existing model designs rather than developing completely new approaches. Also, the communication established between the individual researchers involved in the three models is helpful in the further development of these individual models. Therefore, we recommend that this kind of comparative study be extended to other areas

  18. The economic burden of diabetes to French national health insurance: a new cost-of-illness method based on a combined medicalized and incremental approach.

    PubMed

    de Lagasnerie, Grégoire; Aguadé, Anne-Sophie; Denis, Pierre; Fagot-Campagna, Anne; Gastaldi-Menager, Christelle

    2017-02-11

    A better understanding of the economic burden of diabetes constitutes a major public health challenge in order to design new ways to curb diabetes health care expenditure. The aim of this study was to develop a new cost-of-illness method in order to assess the specific and nonspecific costs of diabetes from a public payer perspective. Using medical and administrative data from the major French national health insurance system covering about 59 million individuals in 2012, we identified people with diabetes and then estimated the economic burden of diabetes. Various methods were used: (a) global cost of patients with diabetes, (b) cost of treatment directly related to diabetes (i.e., 'medicalized approach'), (c) incremental regression-based approach, (d) incremental matched-control approach, and (e) a novel combination of the 'medicalized approach' and the 'incremental matched-control' approach. We identified 3 million individuals with diabetes (5% of the population). The total expenditure of this population amounted to €19 billion, representing 15% of total expenditure reimbursed to the entire population. Of the total expenditure, €10 billion (52%) was considered to be attributable to diabetes care: €2.3 billion (23% of €10 billion) was directly attributable, and €7.7 billion was attributable to additional reimbursed expenditure indirectly related to diabetes (77%). Inpatient care represented the major part of the expenditure attributable to diabetes care (22%) together with drugs (20%) and medical auxiliaries (15%). Antidiabetic drugs represented an expenditure of about €1.1 billion, accounting for 49% of all diabetes-specific expenditure. This study shows the economic impact of the assumption concerning definition of costs on evaluation of the economic burden of diabetes. The proposed new cost-of-illness method provides specific insight for policy-makers to enhance diabetes management and assess the opportunity costs of diabetes complications

  19. The mass-action law based algorithm for cost-effective approach for cancer drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Ting-Chao

    2011-01-01

    The mass-action law based system analysis via mathematical induction and deduction lead to the generalized theory and algorithm that allows computerized simulation of dose-effect dynamics with small size experiments using a small number of data points in vitro, in animals, and in humans. The median-effect equation of the mass-action law deduced from over 300 mechanism specific-equations has been shown to be the unified theory that serves as the common-link for complicated biomedical systems. After using the median-effect principle as the common denominator, its applications are mechanism-independent, drug unit-independent, and dynamic order-independent; and can be used generally for single drug analysis or for multiple drug combinations in constant-ratio or non-constant ratios. Since the “median” is the common link and universal reference point in biological systems, these general enabling lead to computerized quantitative bio-informatics for econo-green bio-research in broad disciplines. Specific applications of the theory, especially relevant to drug discovery, drug combination, and clinical trials, have been cited or illustrated in terms of algorithms, experimental design and computerized simulation for data analysis. Lessons learned from cancer research during the past fifty years provide a valuable opportunity to reflect, and to improve the conventional divergent approach and to introduce a new convergent avenue, based on the mass-action law principle, for the efficient cancer drug discovery and the low-cost drug development. PMID:22016837

  20. Three-Stage Production Cost Modeling Approach for Evaluating the Benefits of Intra-Hour Scheduling Between Balancing Authorities

    SciTech Connect

    Samaan, Nader; Milligan, Michael; Hunsaker, Matt; Guo, Tao

    2015-10-05

    This paper introduces a production cost modeling approach for evaluating the benefits of intra-hour scheduling among Balancing Authorities (BAs). System operation is modeled in a three-stage sequential manner: day ahead (DA)-hour ahead (HA) real time (RT). In addition to contingency reserve, each BA will need to carry out 'up' and 'down' load following and regulation reserve capacity requirements in the DA and HA time frames. In the RT simulation, only contingency and regulation reserves are carried out as load following is deployed. To model current RT operation with hourly schedules, a new constraint was introduced to force each BA net exchange schedule deviation from HA schedules to be within North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) area control error (ACE) limits. Case studies that investigate the benefits of moving from hourly exchange schedules between Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) BAs into 10-minute exchange schedules under two different levels of wind and solar penetration (11% and 33%) are presented.

  1. One-step preparation of fluorographene: a highly efficient, low-cost, and large-scale approach of exfoliating fluorographite.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Lu, Guolin; Li, Yongjun; Liu, Zhanzhan; Huang, Xiaoyu

    2013-12-26

    Fluorographene, a cousin of graphene, not only inherits the excellent mechanical properties of graphene but also has great unique application potential in high-performance devices and materials, such as lubricating agents, digital transistors, nanocomposites, and energy-storage devices. However, large-scale preparation of fluorographene remains a great challenge. Herein, an easy-operating, highly scalable, and low-cost approach was reported for the preparation of fluorographene using commercially available fluorographite as the starting material. In this procedure, fluorographite turned into few-layer fluorographene through a rapid exfoliation process with Na2O2 and HSO3Cl as exfoliating agents. The whole preparation process was performed in air and without heating, sonication, and protective gas. The obtained fluorographene was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, (19)F nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy, and it possesses a hexagonal polycrystalline structure. Fluorographene and fluorographite were employed as cathode materials of the primary lithium battery, and it was found that the specific discharge capacity of the battery using fluorographene was improved remarkably compared to that using fluorographite. Cyclic voltammetry results also showed that specific capacitances of fluorographene were dozens of times higher than that of fluorographite. It is clear that electrochemical properties of fluorographene are significantly improved against fluorographite.

  2. New Approach Based on Compressive Sampling for Sample Rate Enhancement in DASs for Low-Cost Sensing Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Bonavolontà, Francesco; D'Apuzzo, Massimo; Liccardo, Annalisa; Vadursi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The paper deals with the problem of improving the maximum sample rate of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) included in low cost wireless sensing nodes. To this aim, the authors propose an efficient acquisition strategy based on the combined use of high-resolution time-basis and compressive sampling. In particular, the high-resolution time-basis is adopted to provide a proper sequence of random sampling instants, and a suitable software procedure, based on compressive sampling approach, is exploited to reconstruct the signal of interest from the acquired samples. Thanks to the proposed strategy, the effective sample rate of the reconstructed signal can be as high as the frequency of the considered time-basis, thus significantly improving the inherent ADC sample rate. Several tests are carried out in simulated and real conditions to assess the performance of the proposed acquisition strategy in terms of reconstruction error. In particular, the results obtained in experimental tests with ADC included in actual 8- and 32-bits microcontrollers highlight the possibility of achieving effective sample rate up to 50 times higher than that of the original ADC sample rate. PMID:25313493

  3. A single reflection approach to HCPV: Very high concentration ratio and wide acceptance angles using low cost materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Nardis, Davide

    2012-10-01

    The Italian engineering company Becar (Beghelli SpA group) presents its latest HCPV module currently sold under the brand name "Life Tree". The module is characterized by an efficiency of 26% that is in line with systems having higher complexity. The high efficiency and flexibility of the system are reached thanks to the single reflection scheme of the optical system. The module characterized by high acceptance angles comprises a metalized plastic primary reflector and a secondary optical element. The latter being a crucial technical feature of the Becar's system. This secondary optic element has been developed and manufactured by the German group Evonik Industries, which markets the product under the trade name SAVOSIL(TM). This technology, compared to other optics available in the market, offer high transparency in the whole solar spectrum and it is manufactured with an innovative sol-gel process that guarantees a precision in the micron range, at a fraction of the other approaches cost . Those two important features boost the light harvesting power of the Beghelli's systems. The article shows also the results of extensive in-field tests carried out to confirm reliability, performance and easy maintenance of the system.

  4. Facile, Low-Cost, UV-Curing Approach to Prepare Highly Conductive Composites for Flexible Electronics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fucheng; Chen, Shilong; Wei, Yong; Liu, Konghua; Lin, Yong; Liu, Lan

    2016-07-01

    We present a facile approach to prepare high-performance ultraviolet (UV)-curable polyurethane-acrylate-based flexible electrical conductive adhesive (PUA-FECA) for flexible electronics applications. PUA is employed as the polymer matrix so that the ECA is flexible and UV-curable at room temperature in just a few minutes. The effects of the PUA-FECA formulation and curing procedure on the electrical properties have been studied. Very low volume resistivity (5.08 × 10-4 Ω cm) is obtained by incorporating 70 wt.% microsized Ag-coated Cu flakes. Moreover, by simply standing the PUA-FECA paste for 4 h before exposure to UV light, the bulk resistivity of the PUA-FECA is dramatically decreased to 3.62 × 10-4 Ω cm. This can be attributed to rearrangement of Ag-coated Cu flakes in the matrix while standing. PUA-FECA also presents stable electrical conductivity during rolling and compression, excellent adhesion, and good processability, making it easily scalable to large-scale fabrication and enabling screen-printing on various low-cost flexible substrates such as office paper and polyethylene terephthalate film.

  5. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-09-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)'s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers' costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30-41 to US$52-71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO's absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers' costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: 'what is', that is the current practice, and 'what if', reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in the regression

  6. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-01-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)’s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers’ costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30–41 to US$52–71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO’s absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers’ costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: ‘what is’, that is the current practice, and ‘what if’, reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in

  7. An Accelerated Development, Reduced Cost Approach to Lunar/Mars Exploration Using a Modular NTR-Based Space Transportation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, S.; Clark, J.; Sefcik, R.; Corban, R.; Alexander, S.

    1995-01-01

    ' NTR-based moon/Mars STS, examines performance sensitivities resulting from different 'mission mode' assumptions, and quantifies potential schedule and cost benefits resulting from this modular moon/Mars NTR vehicle approach.

  8. A revolutionary approach to health care cost control: leveraging the power of Web-enabled employee "consumerism".

    PubMed

    Rozzi, M V

    2001-09-01

    The confluence of two trends--health care "consumerism" and employee self-service benefits programs--offers employers a promising opportunity for health care cost control. To take advantage of this opportunity, employers must take a fresh look at the health care cost dilemma and find ways to simultaneously offer employees a new kind of benefit and implement more effective cost-control measures.

  9. IHC and the WHO classification of lymphomas: cost effective immunohistochemistry using a deductive reasoning "decision tree" approach.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Clive R

    2009-10-01

    The 2008 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues defines current standards of practice for the diagnosis and classification of malignant lymphomas and related entities. More than 50 different types of lymphomas are described, combining fine morphologic criteria with immunohistochemical (IHC), and sometimes molecular, findings. Faced with such a broad range of different lymphomas, some encountered only rarely, and a rapidly growing, ever changing, armamentarium of approximately 80 pertinent IHC "stains", the challenge to the pathologist is to employ IHC in an efficient manner, to arrive at an assured diagnosis as rapidly as possible. This review uses deductive reasoning, after a decision tree or dendrogram model that relies upon recognition of basic morphologic patterns for efficient selection, use and interpretation of IHC markers to classify node-based malignancies by the World Health Organization schema. The review is divided into 2 parts, the first addressing those lymphomas that produce a follicular or nodular pattern of lymph nodal involvement; the second addressing diffuse proliferations in lymph nodes. It is accepted that only specialized centers are able to apply all of the technical resources and experience necessary for definitive diagnosis of unusual cases. Emphasis therefore is given to the more common lymphomas and the more commonly available IHC "stains", for a pragmatic and practical approach that is both broadly feasible and cost effective. By this method an assured diagnosis may be reached in the majority of nodal lymphomas, at the same time developing a sufficiency of data to recognize those rare or atypical cases that require referral to a specialized center.

  10. Cost-effectiveness of seasonal quadrivalent versus trivalent influenza vaccination in the United States: A dynamic transmission modeling approach

    PubMed Central

    Brogan, Anita J.; Talbird, Sandra E.; Davis, Ashley E.; Thommes, Edward W.; Meier, Genevieve

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV3s) protect against 2 A strains and one B lineage; quadrivalent versions (IIV4s) protect against an additional B lineage. The objective was to assess projected health and economic outcomes associated with IIV4 versus IIV3 for preventing seasonal influenza in the US. A cost-effectiveness model was developed to interact with a dynamic transmission model. The transmission model tracked vaccination, influenza cases, infection-spreading interactions, and recovery over 10 y (2012–2022). The cost-effectiveness model estimated influenza-related complications, direct and indirect costs (2013–2014 US$), health outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Inputs were taken from published/public sources or estimated using regression or calibration. Outcomes were discounted at 3% per year. Scenario analyses tested the reliability of the results. Seasonal vaccination with IIV4 versus IIV3 is predicted to reduce annual influenza cases by 1,973,849 (discounted; 2,325,644 undiscounted), resulting in 12–13% fewer cases and influenza-related complications and deaths. These reductions are predicted to translate into 18,485 more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) accrued annually for IIV4 versus IIV3. Increased vaccine-related costs ($599 million; 5.7%) are predicted to be more than offset by reduced influenza treatment costs ($699 million; 12.2%), resulting in direct medical cost saving annually ($100 million; 0.6%). Including indirect costs, savings with IIV4 are predicted to be $7.1 billion (5.6%). Scenario analyses predict IIV4 to be cost-saving in all scenarios tested apart from low infectivity, where IIV4 is predicted to be cost-effective. In summary, seasonal influenza vaccination in the US with IIV4 versus IIV3 is predicted to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. PMID:27780425

  11. Impact of health insurance on health care treatment and cost in Vietnam: a health capability approach to financial protection.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Kim Thuy; Khuat, Oanh Thi Hai; Ma, Shuangge; Pham, Duc Cuong; Khuat, Giang Thi Hong; Ruger, Jennifer Prah

    2012-08-01

    We applied an alternative conceptual framework for analyzing health insurance and financial protection grounded in the health capability paradigm. Through an original survey of 706 households in Dai Dong, Vietnam, we examined the impact of Vietnamese health insurance schemes on inpatient and outpatient health care access, costs, and health outcomes using bivariate and multivariable regression analyses. Insured respondents had lower outpatient and inpatient treatment costs and longer hospital stays but fewer days of missed work or school than the uninsured. Insurance reform reduced household vulnerability to high health care costs through direct reduction of medical costs and indirect reduction of income lost to illness. However, from a normative perspective, out-of-pocket costs are still too high, and accessibility issues persist; a comprehensive insurance package and additional health system reforms are needed.

  12. Cost satisfaction analysis: a novel patient-based approach for economic analysis of the utility of fixed prosthodontics.

    PubMed

    Walton, T R; Layton, D M

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to apply a novel economic tool (cost satisfaction analysis) to assess the utility of fixed prosthodontics, to review its applicability, and to explore the perceived value of treatment. The cost satisfaction analysis employed the validated Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ). Patients with a known prostheses outcome over 1-20 years were mailed the PSQ. Five hundred patients (50·7%) responded. Remembered satisfaction at insertion (initial costs) and current satisfaction (costs in hindsight) were reported on VAS, and the difference calculated (costs with time). Percentage and grouped responses (low, <40%; medium, 40-70%; high, > 70%) were analysed in relation to patient gender, age and willingness to have undergone the same treatment again, and in relation to prostheses age, type, complexity and outcome. Significance was set at P = 0·05. Averages were reported as means ± standard error. Satisfaction with initial costs and costs in hindsight were unrelated to patient gender and age, and prostheses age, type and complexity. Patients with a failure and those who would elect to not undergo the same treatment again were significantly less satisfied with initial costs (P = 0·021, P < 0·001) and costs in hindsight (P = 0·021, P < 0·001) than their counterparts. Patient's cost satisfaction (entire cohort) had significantly improved from 53 ± 1% at insertion to 81 ± 0·9% in hindsight (28 ± 1% improvement, P < 0·001). Patient cost satisfaction had also significantly improved, and the magnitude of improvement was the same within every individual cohort (P = 0·004 to P < 0·001), including patients with failures, and those who in hindsight would not undergo the same treatment again. Low satisfaction was reported by 166 patients initially, but 94% of these reported improvements in hindsight. Fourteen patients (3%) remained dissatisfied in hindsight, although 71% of these would still choose to undergo the same treatment again. Cost

  13. Costs and clinical outcomes for non-invasive versus invasive diagnostic approaches to patients with suspected in-stent restenosis.

    PubMed

    Min, James K; Hasegawa, James T; Machacz, Susanne F; O'Day, Ken

    2016-02-01

    This study compared costs and clinical outcomes of invasive versus non-invasive diagnostic evaluations for patients with suspected in-stent restenosis (ISR) after percutaneous coronary intervention. We developed a decision model to compare 2 year diagnosis-related costs for patients who presented with suspected ISR and were evaluated by: (1) invasive coronary angiography (ICA); (2) non-invasive stress testing strategy of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with referral to ICA based on MPI; (3) coronary CT angiography-based testing strategy with referral to ICA based on CCTA. Costs were modeled from the payer's perspective using 2014 Medicare rates. 56 % of patients underwent follow-up diagnostic testing over 2 years. Compared to ICA, MPI (98.6 %) and CCTA (98.1 %) exhibited lower rates of correct diagnoses. Non-invasive strategies were associated with reduced referrals to ICA and costs compared to an ICA-based strategy, with diagnostic costs lower for CCTA than MPI. Overall 2-year costs were highest for ICA for both metallic as well as BVS stents ($1656 and $1656, respectively) when compared to MPI ($1444 and $1411) and CCTA. CCTA costs differed based upon stent size and type, and were highest for metallic stents >3.0 mm followed by metallic stents <3.0 mm, BVS < 3.0 mm and BVS > 3.0 mm ($1466 vs. $1242 vs. $855 vs. $490, respectively). MPI for suspected ISR results in lower costs and rates of complications than invasive strategies using ICA while maintaining high diagnostic performance. Depending upon stent size and type, CCTA results in lower costs than MPI.

  14. Costs and clinical outcomes for non-invasive versus invasive diagnostic approaches to patients with suspected in-stent restenosis

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, James T.; Machacz, Susanne F.; O’Day, Ken

    2015-01-01

    This study compared costs and clinical outcomes of invasive versus non-invasive diagnostic evaluations for patients with suspected in-stent restenosis (ISR) after percutaneous coronary intervention. We developed a decision model to compare 2 year diagnosis-related costs for patients who presented with suspected ISR and were evaluated by: (1) invasive coronary angiography (ICA); (2) non-invasive stress testing strategy of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with referral to ICA based on MPI; (3) coronary CT angiography-based testing strategy with referral to ICA based on CCTA. Costs were modeled from the payer’s perspective using 2014 Medicare rates. 56 % of patients underwent follow-up diagnostic testing over 2 years. Compared to ICA, MPI (98.6 %) and CCTA (98.1 %) exhibited lower rates of correct diagnoses. Non-invasive strategies were associated with reduced referrals to ICA and costs compared to an ICA-based strategy, with diagnostic costs lower for CCTA than MPI. Overall 2-year costs were highest for ICA for both metallic as well as BVS stents ($1656 and $1656, respectively) when compared to MPI ($1444 and $1411) and CCTA. CCTA costs differed based upon stent size and type, and were highest for metallic stents >3.0 mm followed by metallic stents <3.0 mm, BVS < 3.0 mm and BVS > 3.0 mm ($1466 vs. $1242 vs. $855 vs. $490, respectively). MPI for suspected ISR results in lower costs and rates of complications than invasive strategies using ICA while maintaining high diagnostic performance. Depending upon stent size and type, CCTA results in lower costs than MPI. PMID:26335370

  15. The Near Earth Object Scout Spacecraft: A Low Cost Approach to in-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koontz, Steven L.; Condon, Gerald; Graham, Lee; Bevilacqua, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe a micro/nano satellite spacecraft and a supporting mission profile and architecture designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonable cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO Scout. NEO Scout spacecraft are to be placed in GTO, GEO, or cis-lunar space as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GTO or beyond and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO scout system is to design the mission timeline and spacecraft to rendezvous with and land on the target NEOs during close approach to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high- impulse propulsion systems. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented along with detailed trajectory calculations. The use of micro/nano satellites in low-cost interplanetary exploration is attracting increasing attention and is the subject of several annual workshops and published design studies (1-4). The NEO population consists of those asteroids and short period comets orbiting the Sun with a perihelion of 1.3 astronomical units or less (5-8). As of July 30, 2013 10065 Near-Earth objects have been discovered. The spin rate, mass, density, surface physical (especially mechanical) properties, composition, and mineralogy of the vast majority of these objects are highly uncertain and the limited available telescopic remote sensing data imply a very diverse population (5-8). In-situ measurements by robotic spacecraft are urgently needed to provide the characterization data needed to support hardware and mission design for more ambitious human and robotic NEO operations. Large numbers of NEOs move into close proximity with the Earth-Moon system every year (9). The JPL Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) (10) has produced detailed mission profile and delta V requirements for various NEO missions ranging from 30

  16. Space Physics for Graduate Students: An Activities-Based Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, N. A.; Arge, N.; Bruntz, R.; Burns, A. G.; Hughes, W. J.; Knipp, D.; Lyon, J.; McGregor, S.; Owens, M.; Siscoe, G.; Solomon, S. C.; Wiltberger, M.

    2009-01-01

    The geospace environment is controlled largely by events on the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which generate significant geomagnetic and upper atmospheric disturbances. The study of this Sun-Earth system, which has become known as space weather, has both intrinsic scientific interest and practical applications. Adverse conditions in space can damage satellites and disrupt communications, navigation, and electric power grids, as well as endanger astronauts. The Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM), a Science and Technology Center (STC) funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (see http://www.bu.edu/cism/), is developing a suite of integrated physics-based computer models that describe the space environment from the Sun to the Earth for use in both research and operations [Hughes and Hudson, 2004, p. 1241]. To further this mission, advanced education and training programs sponsored by CISM encourage students to view space weather as a system that encompasses the Sun, the solar wind, the magnetosphere, and the ionosphere/thermosphere. This holds especially true for participants in the CISM space weather summer school [Simpson, 2004].

  17. Elements of Designing for Cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  18. Elements of designing for cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity-based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  19. Primer: The DOE Wind Energy Program's Approach to Calculating Cost of Energy: July 9, 2005 - July 8, 2006

    SciTech Connect

    George, K.; Schweizer, T.

    2008-01-01

    This report details the methodology used by DOE to calculate levelized cost of wind energy and demonstrates the variation in COE estimates due to different financing assumptions independent of wind generation technology.

  20. Costs of achieving live birth from assisted reproductive technology: a comparison of sequential single and double embryo transfer approaches

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Sara; Boulet, Sheree L.; Mneimneh, Allison S.; Perkins, Kiran M.; Jamieson, Denise J.; Zhang, Yujia; Kissin, Dmitry M.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess treatment and pregnancy/infant-associated medical costs and birth outcomes for assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles in a subset of patients using elective double embryo (ET) and to project the difference in costs and outcomes had the cycles instead been sequential single ETs (fresh followed by frozen if the fresh ET did not result in live birth). Design Retrospective cohort study using 2012 and 2013 data from the National ART Surveillance System. Setting Infertility treatment centers. Patient(s) Fresh, autologous double ETs performed in 2012 among ART patients younger than 35 years of age with no prior ART use who cryopreserved at least one embryo. Intervention(s) Sequential single and double ETs. Main Outcome Measure(s) Actual live birth rates and estimated ART treatment and pregnancy/infant-associated medical costs for double ET cycles started in 2012 and projected ART treatment and pregnancy/infant-associated medical costs if the double ET cycles had been performed as sequential single ETs. Result(s) The estimated total ART treatment and pregnancy/infant-associated medical costs were $580.9 million for 10,001 double ETs started in 2012. If performed as sequential single ETs, estimated costs would have decreased by $195.0 million to $386.0 million, and live birth rates would have increased from 57.7%–68.0%. Conclusion(s) Sequential single ETs, when clinically appropriate, can reduce total ART treatment and pregnancy/infant-associated medical costs by reducing multiple births without lowering live birth rates. PMID:26604068

  1. Design the Cost Approach in Trade-Off's for Structural Components, Illustrated on the Baseline Selection of the Engine Thrust Frame of Ariane 5 ESC-B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appolloni, L.; Juhls, A.; Rieck, U.

    2002-01-01

    Designing for value is one of the very actual upcoming methods for design optimization, which broke into the domain of aerospace engineering in the late 90's. In the frame of designing for value two main design philosophies exist: Design For Cost and Design To Cost. Design To Cost is the iterative redesign of a project until the content of the project meets a given budget. Designing For Cost is the conscious use of engineering process technology to reduce life cycle cost while satisfying, and hopefully exceeding, customer demands. The key to understanding cost, and hence to reducing cost, is the ability to measure cost accurately and to allocate it appropriately to products. Only then can intelligent decisions be made. Therefore the necessity of new methods as "Design For Value" or "Design For Competitiveness", set up with a generally multidisciplinary approach to find an optimized technical solution driven by many parameters, depending on the mission scenario and the customer/market needs. Very often three, but not more than five parametric drivers are sufficient. The more variable exist, the higher is in fact the risk to find just a sub-optimized local and not the global optimum, and the less robust is the found solution against change of input parameters. When the main parameters for optimization have been identified, the system engineer has to communicate them to all design engineers, who shall take care of these assessment variables during the entire design and decision process. The design process which has taken to the definition of the feasible structural concepts for the Engine Thrust Frame of the Ariane 5 Upper Cryogenic Stage ESC-B follows these most actual design philosophy methodologies, and combines a design for cost approach, to a design to cost optimization loop. Ariane 5 is the first member of a family of heavy-lift launchers. It aims to evolve into a family of launchers that responds to the space transportation challenges of the 21st century. New

  2. Bridging the gap between health and non-health investments: moving from cost-effectiveness analysis to a return on investment approach across sectors of economy.

    PubMed

    Sendi, Pedram

    2008-06-01

    When choosing from a menu of treatment alternatives, the optimal treatment depends on the objective function and the assumptions of the model. The classical decision rule of cost-effectiveness analysis may be formulated via two different objective functions: (i) maximising health outcomes subject to the budget constraint or (ii) maximising the net benefit of the intervention with the budget being determined ex post. We suggest a more general objective function of (iii) maximising return on investment from available resources with consideration of health and non-health investments. The return on investment approach allows to adjust the analysis for the benefits forgone by alternative non-health investments from a societal or subsocietal perspective. We show that in the presence of positive returns on non-health investments the decision-maker's willingness to pay per unit of effect for a treatment program needs to be higher than its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio to be considered cost-effective.

  3. An optical relay approach to very low cost hybrid polymer-complementary metal-oxide semiconductor electrophoresis instrumentation.

    PubMed

    Hall, Gordon H; Sloan, David L; Ma, Tianchi; Couse, Madeline H; Martel, Stephane; Elliott, Duncan G; Glerum, D Moira; Backhouse, Christopher J

    2014-07-04

    Electrophoresis is an integral part of many molecular diagnostics protocols and an inexpensive implementation would greatly facilitate point-of-care (POC) applications. However, the high instrumentation cost presents a substantial barrier, much of it associated with fluorescence detection. The cost of such systems could be substantially reduced by placing the fluidic channel and photodiode directly above the detector in order to collect a larger portion of the fluorescent light. In future, this could be achieved through the integration and monolithic fabrication of photoresist microchannels on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor microelectronics (CMOS). However, the development of such a device is expensive due to high non-recurring engineering costs. To facilitate that development, we present a system that utilises an optical relay to integrate low-cost polymeric microfluidics with a CMOS chip that provides a photodiode, analog-digital conversion and a standard serial communication interface. This system embodies an intermediate level of microelectronic integration, and significantly decreases development costs. With a limit of detection of 1.3±0.4nM of fluorescently end-labeled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), it is suitable for diagnostic applications.

  4. Incremental cost-effectiveness pharmacoeconomic assessment of hepatitis C virus therapy: an approach for less wealthy members of the common market

    PubMed Central

    Mance, Diana; Mance, Davor; Vitezić, Dinko

    2016-01-01

    Aim To develop a new method of health-economic analysis based on a marginal approach. Methods We tested the research hypothesis that a detailed comparative a priori incremental cost-effectiveness analysis provides the necessary input for budget impact analysis about the proper order of introduction of new therapies, and thus maximizes the cost-effectiveness bounded by the total budget constraint. For the analysis we chose a combination therapy for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 (GT1) infection, which was approved by the European Medicine Agency in 2015. We used the incremental cost-effective approach to assess the increase in the percentage of patients achieving sustained virological response (SVR) and the expenditure per additional SVR modulated by the new therapy's market entrance dynamics. Patient subpopulations were differentiated by their response to previous treatment, presence of cirrhosis, and HCV GT1 subtype. Final parameters were estimated by Monte Carlo simulations. Results The new combination therapy had high efficacy, shorter duration, and was better tolerated than alternative interventions. The research hypothesis was confirmed: gradual introduction of the new therapy on the market, based on a priori incremental cost-effectiveness analysis, would result in average increase in successfully treated patients by 20%-40%, while additional costs would approximately be between 8%-40%, ie, €21,000-52 000 per additional patient achieving SVR. Conclusion We showed the new combination therapy to be cost-effective for certain patient subpopulations, especially for experienced cirrhotic HCV GT1 patients. Results of the analysis are in agreement with the latest recommendations for HCV patients’ treatment in Croatia. This economic evaluation could serve as a starting point for negotiations between pharmaceutical industry and insurance companies. PMID:28051283

  5. Defining Landscape Resistance Values in Least-Cost Connectivity Models for the Invasive Grey Squirrel: A Comparison of Approaches Using Expert-Opinion and Habitat Suitability Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D.; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C.; Nevin, Owen T.; Ramsey, Andrew D.

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks. PMID:25380289

  6. Design-to-cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, F. E.

    1974-01-01

    Attempts made to design to costs equipment, vehicles and subsystems for various space projects are discussed. A systematic approach, based on mission requirement analysis, definition of a mission baseline design, benefit and cost analysis, and a benefit-cost analysis was proposed for implementing the cost control program.

  7. Activity-Based Screening of Metagenomic Libraries for Hydrogenase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Adam, Nicole; Perner, Mirjam

    2017-01-01

    Here we outline how to identify hydrogenase enzymes from metagenomic libraries through an activity-based screening approach. A metagenomic fosmid library is constructed in E. coli and the fosmids are transferred into a hydrogenase deletion mutant of Shewanella oneidensis (ΔhyaB) via triparental mating. If a fosmid exhibits hydrogen uptake activity, S. oneidensis' phenotype is restored and hydrogenase activity is indicated by a color change of the medium from yellow to colorless. This new method enables screening of 48 metagenomic fosmid clones in parallel.

  8. Screen printing as a scalable and low-cost approach for rigid and flexible thin-film transistors using separated carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xuan; Chen, Haitian; Gu, Xiaofei; Liu, Bilu; Wang, Wenli; Cao, Yu; Wu, Fanqi; Zhou, Chongwu

    2014-12-23

    Semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes are very promising materials in printed electronics due to their excellent mechanical and electrical property, outstanding printability, and great potential for flexible electronics. Nonetheless, developing scalable and low-cost approaches for manufacturing fully printed high-performance single-wall carbon nanotube thin-film transistors remains a major challenge. Here we report that screen printing, which is a simple, scalable, and cost-effective technique, can be used to produce both rigid and flexible thin-film transistors using separated single-wall carbon nanotubes. Our fully printed top-gated nanotube thin-film transistors on rigid and flexible substrates exhibit decent performance, with mobility up to 7.67 cm2 V(-1) s(-1), on/off ratio of 10(4)∼10(5), minimal hysteresis, and low operation voltage (<10 V). In addition, outstanding mechanical flexibility of printed nanotube thin-film transistors (bent with radius of curvature down to 3 mm) and driving capability for organic light-emitting diode have been demonstrated. Given the high performance of the fully screen-printed single-wall carbon nanotube thin-film transistors, we believe screen printing stands as a low-cost, scalable, and reliable approach to manufacture high-performance nanotube thin-film transistors for application in display electronics. Moreover, this technique may be used to fabricate thin-film transistors based on other materials for large-area flexible macroelectronics, and low-cost display electronics.

  9. Innovative approach to the design of low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with good glass formation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jia-Lin; Chen, Guang; Liu, Chain-Tsuan; Li, Yi

    2013-01-01

    The high manufacturing cost for metallic glasses hampers actual commercial applications of this class of fascinating materials. In this letter, the effect of oxygen impurity on the glass forming ability and tensile properties of Zr-BMG composites were studied. Our results have demonstrated that oxygen was absorbed and concentrated only in the precipitated β-Zr phase, leading that the remainder molten metal retains good glass forming ability. The high oxygen concentration in the β-Zr phase induces a significant solid-solution strengthening effect, this resulting in an enhanced strength of the BMG composites without sacrificing their overall ductility. Based on this alloying strategy, we have successfully developed the low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with excellent tensile properties and good glass forming ability, using the low grade industrial raw materials processed under industrial vacuum systems. This finding is expected to greatly cut down the manufacturing cost and greatly promote the commercial applications of the BMG composites.

  10. How Much? Cost Models for Online Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorenzo, George

    2001-01-01

    Reviews some of the research being done in the area of cost models for online education. Describes a cost analysis handbook; an activity-based costing model that was based on an economic model for traditional instruction at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; and blending other costing models. (LRW)

  11. Assessing the value for money of pharmaceuticals in New Zealand--PHARMAC's approach to cost-utility analysis.

    PubMed

    Grocott, Rachel; Metcalfe, Scott; Alexander, Paul; Werner, Rachel

    2013-07-12

    Cost-utility analysis (CUA) is a form of economic analysis that has been used by PHARMAC for nearly 20 years. It is also used by many health funding and assessment agencies internationally. So what is CUA and why is it so important? This article describes the process involved in undertaking CUA, including critical appraisal of clinical evidence; transforming the evidence to estimate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs); estimating costs; and how this information is combined to obtain an output that can be used to inform decision-making. The article also describes how PHARMAC uses CUA to prioritise pharmaceuticals for funding in New Zealand.

  12. Extract BIG savings from physician preference items. Use a data-driven, team-based approach to drive down costs.

    PubMed

    Tyson, Patricia

    2010-05-01

    As baby boomers reach retirement age, the demand for cardiac, spine and orthopedic implants is expected to escalate rapidly. Containing spending on these physician preference items (PPI) will be crucial for hospitals, which are facing reduced revenue streams due to bundled payments and other factors. Materials managers will play a lead role in devising cost-reduction strategies. They'll need to establish benchmarking data to share with physicians to build consensus on how to best cut PPI costs without sacrificing the quality of care. Follow these steps to get started.

  13. [Femicide Across Europe COST Action, a transnational cooperation network for the study of and approach to femicide in Europe].

    PubMed

    Sanz-Barbero, Belén; Otero-García, Laura; Boira, Santiago; Marcuello, Chaime; Vives Cases, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Femicide or the murder of women because of their gender is a recognised public health problem as well as a serious violation of human rights. Its magnitude worldwide is still unknown, given the methodological difficulties to differentiate these murders from other female homicides. The European Union programme entitled «European Cooperation in Science and Technology» (COST) launched the «Femicide across Europe» COST Action in 2013, establishing an optimal European framework for transnational cooperation among experts addressing great social and public health challenges such as femicide. This field note describes the main objectives, the participating groups of experts and the mid-term results of this experience.

  14. A probabilistic approach for a cost-benefit analysis of oil spill management under uncertainty: A Bayesian network model for the Gulf of Finland.

    PubMed

    Helle, Inari; Ahtiainen, Heini; Luoma, Emilia; Hänninen, Maria; Kuikka, Sakari

    2015-08-01

    Large-scale oil accidents can inflict substantial costs to the society, as they typically result in expensive oil combating and waste treatment operations and have negative impacts on recreational and environmental values. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) offers a way to assess the economic efficiency of management measures capable of mitigating the adverse effects. However, the irregular occurrence of spills combined with uncertainties related to the possible effects makes the analysis a challenging task. We develop a probabilistic modeling approach for a CBA of oil spill management and apply it in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea. The model has a causal structure, and it covers a large number of factors relevant to the realistic description of oil spills, as well as the costs of oil combating operations at open sea, shoreline clean-up, and waste treatment activities. Further, to describe the effects on environmental benefits, we use data from a contingent valuation survey. The results encourage seeking for cost-effective preventive measures, and emphasize the importance of the inclusion of the costs related to waste treatment and environmental values in the analysis. Although the model is developed for a specific area, the methodology is applicable also to other areas facing the risk of oil spills as well as to other fields that need to cope with the challenging combination of low probabilities, high losses and major uncertainties.

  15. Constitutional delayed puberty in males and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: a reliable and cost-effective approach to differential diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Martin, Malcolm M; Martin, Arline L A

    2005-09-01

    group 2 had serum T determined on day 3, and all 35 had T measured on day 7. There was no significant difference between the basal T levels in the two groups or in their responses to HCG, and the results were pooled. The combined data in the patients with CDP were then compared with those of the nine patients with HH, recognizing that the result on day 7 in the two patients given daily injections may reflect receptor down-regulation. Setting the limit for a normal T response at > 170 ng/dl 48 hours after a single injection of HCG and > 200 ng/dl after the third injection assigned all the patients with CDP appropriately. The data on the patients with HH are less complete, with only three T values 48 hours after the first injection However, even after three injections of HCG on alternate days, only one of nine patients with HH approached the lowest level achieved by the patients with CDP after a single injection. The data confirm that a basal serum T 50 ng/dl is evidence of the onset of puberty. In those with serum T < 50 ng/ dl our data suggest that a single injection of HCG 15 IU/kg, with serum T determined 48 hours later, is more discriminatory and offers the most reliable, easy to perform, least painful, and by far the most cost effective test to differentiate CDP from HH.

  16. A Novel, Low-Cost, Reduced-Sensor Approach for Providing Smart Renote Monitoring and Diagnostics for Packaged Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, Michael R.

    2009-09-01

    This report describes conceptually an approach to providing automated remote performance and conditioning monitoring and fault detection for air conditioners and heat pumps that shows great promise to reduce the capital and installation costs of such systems from over $1000 per unit to $200 to $400 per unit. The approach relies on non-intrusive electric load monitoring (NIELM) to enable separation of the power use signals of compressors and fans in the air conditioner or heat pump. Then combining information on the power uses and one or two air temperature measurements, changes in energy efficiency and occurrence of major faults would be detected. By decreasing the number of sensors used from between ten and twenty in current diagnostic monitoring systems to three for the envisaged system, the capital cost of the monitoring system hardware and the cost of labor for installation would be decreased significantly. After describing the problem being addressed and the concept for performance monitoring and fault detection in more detail, the report identifies specific conditions and faults that the proposed method would detect, discusses specific needs for successful use of the NIELM approach, and identifies the major elements in the path from concept to a commercialized monitoring and diagnostic system.

  17. Enhancing a Low-Cost Virtual Reality Application through Constructivist Approach: The Case of Spatial Training of Middle Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samsudin, Khairulanuar; Rafi, Ahmad; Mohamad Ali, Ahmad Zamzuri; Abd. Rashid, Nazre

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to develop and to test a low-cost virtual reality spatial trainer in terms of its effectiveness in spatial training. The researchers adopted three features deriving from the constructivist perspective to guide the design of the trainer, namely interaction, instruction, and support. The no control pre test post test…

  18. An Approach to the Application of Life Cycle Cost Concept in Weapon Systems Acquisition for the Venezuelan Navy.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-12-01

    resources such as buildings or land, or such intangible costs as departure from a strong precedent), especially where they differ between alternatives...1010 Venezuela S.A. 9. Jefatura de Logistics 4 * Comandancia Gereral de la 1arina Caracas 1010 Venezuela S.A. 10. Jefatura de Educacion 2 * Comandancia

  19. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater.

  20. Advanced steam power plant concepts with optimized life-cycle costs: A new approach for maximum customer benefit

    SciTech Connect

    Seiter, C.

    1998-07-01

    The use of coal power generation applications is currently enjoying a renaissance. New highly efficient and cost-effective plant concepts together with environmental protection technologies are the main factors in this development. In addition, coal is available on the world market at attractive prices and in many places it is more readily available than gas. At the economical leading edge, standard power plant concepts have been developed to meet the requirements of emerging power markets. These concepts incorporate the high technological state-of-the-art and are designed to achieve lowest life-cycle costs. Low capital cost, fuel costs and operating costs in combination with shortest lead times are the main assets that make these plants attractive especially for IPPs and Developers. Other aspects of these comprehensive concepts include turnkey construction and the willingness to participate in BOO/BOT projects. One of the various examples of such a concept, the 2 x 610-MW Paiton Private Power Project Phase II in Indonesia, is described in this paper. At the technological leading edge, Siemens has always made a major contribution and was pacemaker for new developments in steam power plant technology. Modern coal-fired steam power plants use computer-optimized process and plant design as well as advanced materials, and achieve efficiencies exceeding 45%. One excellent example of this high technology is the world's largest lignite-fired steam power plant Schwarze Pumpe in Germany, which is equipped with two 800 MW Siemens steam turbine generators with supercritical steam parameters. The world's largest 50-Hz single-shaft turbine generator with supercritical steam parameters rated at 1025 MW for the Niederaussem lignite-fired steam power plant in Germany is a further example of the sophisticated Siemens steam turbine technology and sets a new benchmark in this field.

  1. Comparison of response rates and cost-effectiveness for a community-based survey: postal, internet and telephone modes with generic or personalised recruitment approaches

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Epidemiological research often requires collection of data from a representative sample of the community or recruitment of specific groups through broad community approaches. The population coverage of traditional survey methods such as mail-outs to residential addresses, and telephone contact via public directories or random-digit-dialing is declining and survey response rates are falling. There is a need to explore new sampling frames and consider multiple response modes including those offered by changes in telecommunications and internet technology. Methods We evaluated response rates and cost-effectiveness for three modes of survey administration (postal invitation/postal survey, postal invitation/internet survey and postal invitation/telephone survey) and two styles of contact approach (personalised and generic) in a community survey of greywater use. Potential respondents were contacted only once, with no follow up of non-responders. Results The telephone survey produced the highest adjusted response rate (30.2%), followed by the personalised postal survey (10.5%), generic postal survey (7.5%) and then the internet survey (4.7% for the personalised approach and 2.2% for the generic approach). There were some differences in household characteristics and greywater use rates between respondents to different survey modes, and between respondents to personalised and generic approaches. These may be attributable to the differing levels of motivations needed for a response, and varying levels of interest in the survey topic among greywater users and non-users. The generic postal survey had the lowest costs per valid survey received (Australian $22.93), followed by the personalised postal survey ($24.75). Conclusions Our findings suggest that postal surveys currently remain the most economic option for population-based studies, with similar costs for personalised and generic approaches. Internet surveys may be effective for specialised groups where email

  2. Costing in Radiology and Health Care: Rationale, Relativity, Rudiments, and Realities.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Geoffrey D

    2017-02-01

    Costs direct decisions that influence the effectiveness of radiology in the care of patients on a daily basis. Yet many radiologists struggle to harness the power of cost measurement and cost management as a critical path toward establishing their value in patient care. When radiologists cannot articulate their value, they risk losing control over how imaging is delivered and supported. In the United States, recent payment trends directing value-based payments for bundles of care advance the imperative for radiology providers to articulate their value. This begins with the development of an understanding of the providers' own costs, as well as the complex interrelationships and imaging-associated costs of other participants across the imaging value chain. Controlling the costs of imaging necessitates understanding them at a procedural level and quantifying the costs of delivering specific imaging services. Effective product-level costing is dependent on a bottom-up approach, which is supported through recent innovations in time-dependent activity-based costing. Once the costs are understood, they can be managed. Within the high fixed cost and high overhead cost environment of health care provider organizations, stakeholders must understand the implications of misaligned top-down cost management approaches that can both paradoxically shift effort from low-cost workers to much costlier professionals and allocate overhead costs counterproductively. Radiology's engagement across a broad spectrum of care provides an excellent opportunity for radiology providers to take a leading role within the health care organizations to enhance value and margin through principled and effective cost management. Following a discussion of the rationale for measuring costs, this review contextualizes costs from the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders (relativity), discusses core concepts in how costs are classified (rudiments), presents common and improved methods for measuring

  3. Paying for hospital care: the experience with implementing activity-based funding in five European countries.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Jacqueline; Busse, Reinhard; Häkkinen, Unto; Or, Zeynep; Street, Andrew; Wiley, Miriam

    2012-01-01

    Following the US experience, activity-based funding has become the most common mechanism for reimbursing hospitals in Europe. Focusing on five European countries (England, Finland, France, Germany and Ireland), this paper reviews the motivation for introducing activity-based funding, together with the empirical evidence available to assess the impact of implementation. Despite differences in the prevailing approaches to reimbursement, the five countries shared several common objectives, albeit with different emphasis, in moving to activity-based funding during the 1990s and 2000s. These include increasing efficiency, improving quality of care and enhancing transparency. There is substantial cross-country variation in how activity-based funding has been implemented and developed. In Finland and Ireland, for instance, activity-based funding is principally used to determine hospital budgets, whereas the models adopted in the other three countries are more similar to the US approach. Assessing the impact of activity-based funding is complicated by a shortage of rigorous empirical evaluations. What evidence is currently available, though, suggests that the introduction of activity-based funding has been associated with an increase in activity, a decline in length of stay and/or a reduction in the rate of growth in hospital expenditure in most of the countries under consideration.

  4. Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Mobilization with “Just-in-Time” Plerixafor Approach is a Cost Effective Alternative to Routine Plerixafor Use

    PubMed Central

    Veltri, Lauren; Cumpston, Aaron; Shillingburg, Alexandra; Wen, Sijin; Luo, Jin; Leadmon, Sonia; Watkins, Kathy; Craig, Michael; Hamadani, Mehdi; Kanate, Abraham S.

    2015-01-01

    Hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) mobilization with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and plerixafor results in superior CD34+ cell yield, when compared to mobilization with G-CSF alone in patients with myeloma and lymphoma. However, plerixafor-based approaches are associated with high costs. To circumvent this, several institutions use a so-called “just-in-time” plerixafor (JIT-P) approach, where plerixafor is only administered to patients likely to fail mobilization with G-CSF alone. Whether such a JIT-P approach is cost effective has not been confirmed to date. We present here, results of 136 patients with myeloma or lymphoma who underwent mobilization with two different approaches of plerixafor utilization. Between Jan 2010-Oct 2012 (n=76) patients uniformly received mobilization with G-CSF and plerixafor (routine G+P cohort). To reduce mobilization costs, between Nov 2012-Jun 2014 (n=60) patients were mobilized with JIT-P where plerixafor was only administered to patients likely to fail mobilization with G-CSF alone. Patients in routine G+P group had a higher median peak peripheral blood CD34+ cell count (62 vs. 29 cells/μL, p<0.001) and a higher median day 1 CD34+ cell yield (2.9 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg vs. 2.1 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg, p=0.001). The median total CD34+ cell collection was also higher in routine G+P group (5.8 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg vs. 4.5 × 106 CD34+ cells/kg, p=0.007). In the JIT-P group 40% (n=24) completed adequate HPC collection without plerixafor. There was no difference in mobilization failure rates. The mean number of plerixafor doses utilized in JIT-P was lower (1.3 vs. 2.1, p=0.0002). The mean estimated cost in the routine G+P group was higher than that in the JIT-P group (USD 27,513 vs. USD 23,597, p=0.01). Our analysis demonstrates that mobilization with a JIT-P approach is a safe, effective and cost efficient strategy for HPC collection. PMID:26475754

  5. Helping the Noncompliant Child: An Assessment of Program Costs and Cost-Effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Honeycutt, Amanda A; Khavjou, Olga A; Jones, Deborah J; Cuellar, Jessica; Forehand, Rex L

    2015-02-01

    Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in children can lead to delinquency in adolescence and antisocial behavior in adulthood. Several evidence-based behavioral parent training (BPT) programs have been created to treat early onset DBD. This paper focuses on one such program, Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC), and provides detailed cost estimates from a recently completed pilot study for the HNC program. The study also assesses the average cost-effectiveness of the HNC program by combining program cost estimates with data on improvements in child participants' disruptive behavior. The cost and effectiveness estimates are based on implementation of HNC with low-income families. Investigators developed a Microsoft Excel-based costing instrument to collect data from therapists on their time spent delivering the HNC program. The instrument was designed using an activity-based costing approach, where each therapist reported program time by family, by date, and for each skill that the family was working to master. Combining labor and non-labor costs, it is estimated that delivering the HNC program costs an average of $501 per family from a payer perspective. It also costs an average of $13 to improve the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory intensity score by 1 point for children whose families participated in the HNC pilot program. The cost of delivering the HNC program appears to compare favorably with the costs of similar BPT programs. These cost estimates are the first to be collected systematically and prospectively for HNC. Program managers may use these estimates to plan for the resources needed to fully implement HNC.

  6. Exposure assessment in SMES: a low-cost approach to bring OHS services to small-scale enterprises.

    PubMed

    Seneviratne, Mahinda; Phoon, Wai On

    2006-01-01

    There is increased attention to improving occupational health and safety in small to medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The Workers Health Centre, a not-for-profit OHS service in western Sydney, assessed workplace exposures in two SMEs following intervention by regulatory agencies. A low-cost monitoring program for noise, airbone dust, fibers and chemicals was conducted at these two metal working industry workplaces. Results showed that exposure to the hazards were above the statutory limits and there was generally an unhealthy access to OHS information by the predominantly immigrant or low literate worker population, were identified. The potential for using a program of low-cost exposure assessments, accompanied by a strategy to provide OHSs information for workers in small-scale enterprises, is discussed.

  7. A Cost-effective Satellite-aircraft-drogue Approach for Studying Estuarine Circulation and Shelf Waste Dispersion. [Delaware Bay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemas, V. (Principal Investigator); Davis, G.; Wang, H.; Whelan, W.; Tornatore, G.

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Satellites, such as ERTS-1, can be used to obtain a synoptic view of current circulation over large coastal areas. Since in turbid coastal regions suspended sediment acts as a natural tracer, cost is minimized by eliminating the need for expensive injections of large volumes of dye such as Rhodamine-B. One of the principal shortcomings of satellite imaging of coastal currents was its inability to determine current magnitude and to penetrate beyond the upper few meters of the water column. These objections were overcome by complementing satellite observations with drogues tracking currents at various selected depths. By combining the satellite's wide coverage with aircraft or shore stations capable of tracking expendable drogues, a cost effective, integrated system was devised for monitoring currents over large areas, various depths, and under severe environmental conditions.

  8. Argonne`s Expedited Site Characterization: An integrated approach to cost- and time-effective remedial investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Burton, J.C.; Walker, J.L.; Aggarwal, P.K.; Meyer, W.T.

    1995-07-01

    Argonne National Laboratory has developed a methodology for remedial site investigation that has proven to be both technically superior to and more cost- and time-effective than traditional methods. This methodology is referred to as the Argonne Expedited Site Characterization (ESC). Quality is the driving force within the process. The Argonne ESC process is abbreviated only in time and cost and never in terms of quality. More usable data are produced with the Argonne ESC process than with traditional site characterization methods that are based on statistical-grid sampling and multiple monitoring wells. This paper given an overview of the Argonne ESC process and compares it with traditional methods for site characterization. Two examples of implementation of the Argonne ESC process are discussed to illustrate the effectiveness of the process in CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) and RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) programs.

  9. Highly reusable space transportation: Approaches for reducing ETO launch costs to $100 - $200 per pound of payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.

    1995-01-01

    The Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS) suggests that considerable market expansion in earth-to-orbit transportation would take place if current launch prices could be reduced to around $400 per pound of payload. If these low prices can be achieved, annual payload delivered to low earth orbit (LEO) is predicted to reach 6.7 million pounds. The primary market growth will occur in communications, government missions, and civil transportation. By establishing a cost target of $100-$200 per pound of payload for a new launch system, the Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) program has clearly set its sights on removing the current restriction on market growth imposed by today's high launch costs. In particular, achieving the goal of $100-$200 per pound of payload will require significant coordinated efforts in (1) marketing strategy development, (2) business planning, (3) system operational strategy, (4) vehicle technical design, and (5) vehicle maintenance strategy.

  10. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kaushik, Karishma S.; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin; Gordon, Vernita D.

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a hands-on experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model in order to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds and then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. By providing valuable interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives, this module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields. Its low-cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings. PMID:25602254

  11. Participatory operations model for cost-efficient monitoring and modeling of river basins--A systematic approach.

    PubMed

    Malve, Olli; Hjerppe, Turo; Tattari, Sirkka; Väisänen, Sari; Huttunen, Inese; Kotamäki, Niina; Kallio, Kari; Taskinen, Antti; Kauppila, Pirkko

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide economic downturn and the climate change in the beginning of 21st century have stressed the need for cost efficient and systematic operations model for the monitoring and management of surface waters. However, these processes are still all too fragmented and incapable to respond these challenges. For example in Finland, the estimation of the costs and benefits of planned management measures is insufficient. On this account, we present a new operations model to streamline these processes and to ensure the lucid decision making and the coherent implementation which facilitate the participation of public and all the involved stakeholders. The model was demonstrated in the real world management of a lake. The benefits, pitfalls and development needs were identified. After the demonstration, the operations model was put into operation and has been actively used in several other management projects throughout Finland.

  12. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Vernita; Kaushik, Karishma; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin

    2015-03-01

    We have developed a hands-on, experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds, then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. This module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields by providing valuable, interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives. Its low cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings.

  13. Defense Acquisitions: Better Approach Needed to Account for Number, Cost, and Performance of Non-Major Programs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    and equipment. About 40 percent of that total is for major defense acquisition programs or ACAT I programs. DOD also invests in other, non-major... ACAT II and III programs that are generally less costly at the individual program level. These programs typically have fewer reporting requirements...and are overseen at lower organizational levels than ACAT I programs, although they may have annual funding needs that are just as significant

  14. Predation-related costs and benefits of conspecific attraction in songbirds--an agent-based approach.

    PubMed

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds' aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  15. A managerial approach to costing fixed assets in health care organizations: the role of depreciation and interest.

    PubMed

    Goldschmidt, Y; Gafni, A

    1991-01-01

    The economic aspect of depreciation and interest on capital are incorporated within a managerial accounting framework by treating both items as imputed charges to be debited to the users of the assets' services. The costs of these services is examined for individual assets that provide either uniform or declining service over the expected life, and for a stock of assets where the character of the individual assets is ignored. By using imputed charges, the hospital's net income is allocated to its sources.

  16. A Multi-Resolution Approach for an Automated Fusion of Different Low-Cost 3D Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory. PMID:24763255

  17. New Physical Deposition Approach for Low Cost Inorganic Hole Transport Layer in Normal Architecture of Durable Perovskite Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Nejand, Bahram Abdollahi; Ahmadi, Vahid; Shahverdi, Hamid Reza

    2015-10-07

    In this work we reported sputter deposited NiOx/Ni double layer as an HTM/contact couple in normal architecture of perovskite solar cell. A perovskite solar cell that is durable for more than 60 days was achieved, with increasing efficiency from 1.3% to 7.28% within 6 days. Moreover, low temperature direct deposition of NiOx layer on perovskite layer was introduced as a potential hole transport material for an efficient cost-effective solar cell applicable for various morphologies of perovskite layers, even for perovskite layers containing pinholes, which is a notable challenge in perovskite solar cells. The angular deposition of NiOx layers by dc reactive magnetron sputtering showed uniform and crack-free coverage of the perovskite layer with no negative impact on perovskite structure that is suitable for nickel back contact layer, surface shielding against moisture, and mechanical damages. Replacing the expensive complex materials in previous perovskite solar cells with low cost available materials introduces cost-effective scalable perovskite solar cells.

  18. A multi-resolution approach for an automated fusion of different low-cost 3D sensors.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-04-24

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory.

  19. An Analysis of the Costs, Benefits, and Implications of Different Approaches to Capturing the Value of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

    SciTech Connect

    Bolinger, Mark

    2014-04-09

    This report compares the relative costs, benefits, and implications of capturing the value of renewable energy tax benefits in these three different ways – applying them against outside income , carrying them forward in time until they can be fully absorbed internally, or monetizing them through third-party tax equity investors – to see which method is most competitive under various scenarios. It finds that under current law and late-2013 market conditions, monetization makes sense for all but the most tax-efficient project sponsors. In other words, for most project sponsors, bringing in third-party tax equity currently provides net benefits to a project.

  20. A qualitative approach to measure the effectiveness of active avian influenza virus surveillance with respect to its cost: a case study from Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Häsler, B; Howe, K S; Hauser, R; Stärk, K D C

    2012-07-01

    The aim of the project was to apply cost-effectiveness analysis to the economic appraisal of avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance, using the implemented surveillance programme in Switzerland as a case study. First a qualitative risk assessment approach was used to assess the expected impact of surveillance on the transmission and spread of AIV. The effectiveness of surveillance was expressed as the difference in defined probabilities between a scenario with surveillance and a scenario without surveillance. The following probabilities were modelled (i) transmission of highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) from wild birds to poultry, (ii) mutation from low pathogenic AIV (LPAIV) into HPAIV in poultry, and (iii) transmission of HPAIV to other poultry holdings given a primary outbreak. The cost-effectiveness ratio was defined conventionally as the difference in surveillance costs (ΔC) divided by the change in probability (ΔP), the technical objective, on the presumption that surveillance diminishes the respective probabilities. However, results indicated that surveillance in both wild birds and poultry was not expected to change the probabilities of primary and secondary AIV outbreaks in Switzerland. The overall surveillance costs incurred were estimated at 31,000 €/year, which, to be a rational investment of resources, must still reflect the value policy makers attribute to other benefits from having surveillance (e.g. peace of mind). The advantage of the approach adopted is that it is practical, transparent, and thus able to clarify for policy makers the key variables to be taken into account when evaluating the economic efficiency of resources invested in surveillance, prevention and intervention to exclude AIV.

  1. A cost-effective high-throughput metabarcoding approach powerful enough to genotype ~44 000 year-old rodent remains from Northern Africa.

    PubMed

    Guimaraes, S; Pruvost, M; Daligault, J; Stoetzel, E; Bennett, E A; Côté, N M-L; Nicolas, V; Lalis, A; Denys, C; Geigl, E-M; Grange, T

    2016-07-04

    We present a cost-effective metabarcoding approach, aMPlex Torrent, which relies on an improved multiplex PCR adapted to highly degraded DNA, combining barcoding and next-generation sequencing to simultaneously analyse many heterogeneous samples. We demonstrate the strength of these improvements by generating a phylochronology through the genotyping of ancient rodent remains from a Moroccan cave whose stratigraphy covers the last 120 000 years. Rodents are important for epidemiology, agronomy and ecological investigations and can act as bioindicators for human- and/or climate-induced environmental changes. Efficient and reliable genotyping of ancient rodent remains has the potential to deliver valuable phylogenetic and paleoecological information. The analysis of multiple ancient skeletal remains of very small size with poor DNA preservation, however, requires a sensitive high-throughput method to generate sufficient data. We show this approach to be particularly adapted at accessing this otherwise difficult taxonomic and genetic resource. As a highly scalable, lower cost and less labour-intensive alternative to targeted sequence capture approaches, we propose the aMPlex Torrent strategy to be a useful tool for the genetic analysis of multiple degraded samples in studies involving ecology, archaeology, conservation and evolutionary biology.

  2. The Impact of the Prospective Payment System for Skilled Nursing Facilities on Therapy Service Provision: A Transaction Cost Approach

    PubMed Central

    Zinn, Jacqueline S; Mor, Vincent; Intrator, Orna; Feng, Zhanlian; Angelelli, Joseph; Davis, Jullet A

    2003-01-01

    Objective To examine skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) “make-or-buy” decisions with respect to rehabilitation therapy service provision in the 1990s, both before and after implementation of Medicare's Prospective Payment System (PPS) for SNFs. Data Sources Longitudinal On-line Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) data (1992–2001) on a sample of 10,241 freestanding urban SNFs. Study Design We estimated a longitudinal multinomial logistic regression model derived from transaction cost economic theory to predict the probability of the outcome in each of four service provision categories (all employed staff, all contract, mixed, and no services provided). Principal Findings Transaction frequency, uncertainty, and complexity result in greater control over therapy services through employment as opposed to outside contracting. For-profit status and chain affiliation were associated with greater control over therapy services. Following PPS, nursing homes acted to limit transaction costs by either exiting the rehabilitation market or exerting greater control over therapy services by managing rehabilitation services in-house. Conclusions The financial incentives associated with changes in reimbursement methodology have implications that extend beyond the boundaries of the health care industry segment directly affected. Unintended quality and access consequences need to be carefully monitored by the Medicare program. PMID:14727783

  3. Walking Performance: Correlation between Energy Cost of Walking and Walking Participation. New Statistical Approach Concerning Outcome Measurement

    PubMed Central

    Franceschini, Marco; Rampello, Anais; Agosti, Maurizio; Massucci, Maurizio; Bovolenta, Federica; Sale, Patrizio

    2013-01-01

    Walking ability, though important for quality of life and participation in social and economic activities, can be adversely affected by neurological disorders, such as Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis or Traumatic Brain Injury. The aim of this study is to evaluate if the energy cost of walking (CW), in a mixed group of chronic patients with neurological diseases almost 6 months after discharge from rehabilitation wards, can predict the walking performance and any walking restriction on community activities, as indicated by Walking Handicap Scale categories (WHS). One hundred and seven subjects were included in the study, 31 suffering from Stroke, 26 from Spinal Cord Injury and 50 from Multiple Sclerosis. The multivariable binary logistical regression analysis has produced a statistical model with good characteristics of fit and good predictability. This model generated a cut-off value of.40, which enabled us to classify correctly the cases with a percentage of 85.0%. Our research reveal that, in our subjects, CW is the only predictor of the walking performance of in the community, to be compared with the score of WHS. We have been also identifying a cut-off value of CW cost, which makes a distinction between those who can walk in the community and those who cannot do it. In particular, these values could be used to predict the ability to walk in the community when discharged from the rehabilitation units, and to adjust the rehabilitative treatment to improve the performance. PMID:23468871

  4. Bottom-up approach for the low-cost synthesis of graphene-alumina nanosheet interfaces using bimetallic alloys.

    PubMed

    Omiciuolo, Luca; Hernández, Eduardo R; Miniussi, Elisa; Orlando, Fabrizio; Lacovig, Paolo; Lizzit, Silvano; Menteş, Tevfik Onur; Locatelli, Andrea; Larciprete, Rosanna; Bianchi, Marco; Ulstrup, Søren; Hofmann, Philip; Alfè, Dario; Baraldi, Alessandro

    2014-09-29

    The production of high-quality graphene-oxide interfaces is normally achieved by graphene growth via chemical vapour deposition on a metallic surface, followed by transfer of the C layer onto the oxide, by atomic layer and physical vapour deposition of the oxide on graphene or by carbon deposition on top of oxide surfaces. These methods, however, come with a series of issues: they are complex, costly and can easily result in damage to the carbon network, with detrimental effects on the carrier mobility. Here we show that the growth of a graphene layer on a bimetallic Ni3Al alloy and its subsequent exposure to oxygen at 520 K result in the formation of a 1.5 nm thick alumina nanosheet underneath graphene. This new, simple and low-cost strategy based on the use of alloys opens a promising route to the direct synthesis of a wide range of interfaces formed by graphene and high-κ dielectrics.

  5. Comparison of algae cultivation methods for bioenergy production using a combined life cycle assessment and life cycle costing approach.

    PubMed

    Resurreccion, Eleazer P; Colosi, Lisa M; White, Mark A; Clarens, Andres F

    2012-12-01

    Algae are an attractive energy source, but important questions still exist about the sustainability of this technology on a large scale. Two particularly important questions concern the method of cultivation and the type of algae to be used. This present study combines elements of life cycle analysis (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) to evaluate open pond (OP) systems and horizontal tubular photobioreactors (PBRs) for the cultivation of freshwater (FW) or brackish-to-saline water (BSW) algae. Based on the LCA, OPs have lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than PBRs; e.g., 32% less energy use for construction and operation. According to the LCC, all four systems are currently financially unattractive investments, though OPs are less so than PBRs. BSW species deliver better energy and GHG performance and higher profitability than FW species in both OPs and PBRs. Sensitivity analyses suggest that improvements in critical cultivation parameters (e.g., CO(2) utilization efficiency or algae lipid content), conversion parameters (e.g., anaerobic digestion efficiency), and market factors (e.g., costs of CO(2) and electricity, or sale prices for algae biodiesel) could alter these results.

  6. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology.

    PubMed

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-12-03

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm(2), and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p(+-)n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5-10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method.

  7. Rodent model of activity-based anorexia.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Olaia; Fraga, Ángela; Pellón, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Emilio

    2014-04-10

    Activity-based anorexia (ABA) consists of a procedure that involves the simultaneous exposure of animals to a restricted feeding schedule, while free access is allowed to an activity wheel. Under these conditions, animals show a progressive increase in wheel running, a reduced efficiency in food intake to compensate for their increased activity, and a severe progression of weight loss. Due to the parallelism with the clinical manifestations of anorexia nervosa including increased activity, reduced food intake and severe weight loss, the ABA procedure has been proposed as the best analog of human anorexia nervosa (AN). Thus, ABA research could both allow a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying AN and generate useful leads for treatment development in AN.

  8. Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Microbes

    SciTech Connect

    Sadler, Natalie C.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2015-02-01

    Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP) in conjunction with multimodal characterization techniques has yielded impactful findings in microbiology, particularly in pathogen, bioenergy, drug discovery, and environmental research. Using small molecule chemical probes that react irreversibly with specific proteins or protein families in complex systems has provided insights in enzyme functions in central metabolic pathways, drug-protein interactions, and regulatory protein redox, for systems ranging from photoautotrophic cyanobacteria to mycobacteria, and combining live cell or cell extract ABPP with proteomics, molecular biology, modeling, and other techniques has greatly expanded our understanding of these systems. New opportunities for application of ABPP to microbial systems include: enhancing protein annotation, characterizing protein activities in myriad environments, and reveal signal transduction and regulatory mechanisms in microbial systems.

  9. Comparison between different cost devices for digital capture of X-ray films: an image characteristics detection approach.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Antonio José; Camacho, Juan Camilo; Aguirre, Diego Andrés

    2012-02-01

    A common teleradiology practice is digitizing films. The costs of specialized digitizers are very high, that is why there is a trend to use conventional scanners and digital cameras. Statistical clinical studies are required to determine the accuracy of these devices, which are very difficult to carry out. The purpose of this study was to compare three capture devices in terms of their capacity to detect several image characteristics. Spatial resolution, contrast, gray levels, and geometric deformation were compared for a specialized digitizer ICR (US$ 15,000), a conventional scanner UMAX (US$ 1,800), and a digital camera LUMIX (US$ 450, but require an additional support system and a light box for about US$ 400). Test patterns printed in films were used. The results detected gray levels lower than real values for all three devices; acceptable contrast and low geometric deformation with three devices. All three devices are appropriate solutions, but a digital camera requires more operator training and more settings.

  10. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology

    PubMed Central

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-01-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm2, and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p+−n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5–10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method. PMID:26632759

  11. Approaches to S&T Cost Modeling at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory/Vehicle Aeronautics Directorate

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-09-01

    Figure 3). While accounting and finance warfighter, and focuses resources to: (1) Demonstrate may have access to a wealth of engineering, production...traditional accounting and finance data The paradigm of "performance at any price" must change or pricing approaches. Two, the technology has not under the...and finance , and there is a strong emphasis on of the VA technology set, effectively using existing achieving credible absolute values. In the Science

  12. Research misconduct oversight: defining case costs.

    PubMed

    Gammon, Elizabeth; Franzini, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    This study uses a sequential mixed method study design to define cost elements of research misconduct among faculty at academic medical centers. Using time driven activity based costing, the model estimates a per case cost for 17 cases of research misconduct reported by the Office of Research Integrity for the period of 2000-2005. Per case cost of research misconduct was found to range from $116,160 to $2,192,620. Research misconduct cost drivers are identified.

  13. Target identification with quantitative activity based protein profiling (ABPP).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao; Wong, Yin Kwan; Wang, Jigang; Zhang, Jianbin; Lee, Yew-Mun; Shen, Han-Ming; Lin, Qingsong; Hua, Zi-Chun

    2017-02-01

    As many small bioactive molecules fulfill their functions through interacting with protein targets, the identification of such targets is crucial in understanding their mechanisms of action (MOA) and side effects. With technological advancements in target identification, it has become possible to accurately and comprehensively study the MOA and side effects of small molecules. While small molecules with therapeutic potential were derived solely from nature in the past, the remodeling and synthesis of such molecules have now been made possible. Presently, while some small molecules have seen successful application as drugs, the majority remain undeveloped, requiring further understanding of their MOA and side effects to fully tap into their potential. Given the typical promiscuity of many small molecules and the complexity of the cellular proteome, a high-flux and high-accuracy method is necessary. While affinity chromatography approaches combined with MS have had successes in target identification, limitations associated with nonspecific results remain. To overcome these complications, quantitative chemical proteomics approaches have been developed including metabolic labeling, chemical labeling, and label-free methods. These new approaches are adopted in conjunction with activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), allowing for a rapid process and accurate results. This review will briefly introduce the principles involved in ABPP, then summarize current advances in quantitative chemical proteomics approaches as well as illustrate with examples how ABPP coupled with quantitative chemical proteomics has been used to detect the targets of drugs and other bioactive small molecules including natural products.

  14. Local infiltration of rabies immunoglobulins without systemic intramuscular administration: An alternative cost effective approach for passive immunization against rabies

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Omesh Kumar; Madhusudana, Shampur Narayan; Gaunta, Pyare Lal; Belludi, Ashwin Yajaman

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Presently the dose of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) which is an integral part of rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is calculated based on body weight though the recommendation is to infiltrate the wound(s). This practice demands large quantities of RIG which may be unaffordable to many patients. In this background, we conducted this study to know if the quantity and cost of RIG can be reduced by restricting passive immunization to local infiltration alone and avoiding systemic intramuscular administration based on the available scientific evidence. Two hundred and sixty nine category III patients bitten by suspect or confirmed rabid dogs/animals were infiltrated with equine rabies immunoglobulin (ERIGs) in and around the wound. The quantity of ERIG used was proportionate to the size and number of wounds irrespective of their body weight. They were followed with a regular course of rabies vaccination by intra-dermal route. As against 363 vials of RIGs required for all these cases as per current recommendation based on body weight, they required only 42 vials of 5ml RIG. Minimum dose of RIGs given was 0.25 ml and maximum dose given was 8 ml. On an average 1.26 ml of RIGs was required per patient that costs Rs. 150 ($3). All the patients were followed for 9 months and they were healthy and normal at the end of observation period. With local infiltration, that required small quantities of RIG, the RIGs could be made available to all patients in times of short supply in the market. A total of 30 (11%) serum samples of patients were tested for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and all showed antibody titers >0.5 IU/mL by day 14. In no case the dose was higher than that required based on body weight and no immunosuppression resulted. To conclude, this pilot study shows that local infiltration of RIG need to be considered in times of non-availability in the market or unaffordability by poor patients

  15. Technical Note: Cost-efficient approaches to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and concentrations in terrestrial and aquatic environments using mini loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastviken, D.; Sundgren, I.; Natchimuthu, S.; Reyier, H.; Gålfalk, M.

    2015-02-01

    Fluxes of CO2 are important for our understanding of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas balances. Several significant CO2 fluxes in nature may still be neglected as illustrated by recent findings of high CO2 emissions from aquatic environments, previously not recognized in global carbon balances. Therefore it is important to develop convenient and affordable ways to measure CO2 in many types of environments. At present, direct measurements of CO2 fluxes from soils or waters, or CO2 concentrations in surface water, are typically labour intensive or require costly equipment. We here present an approach with measurement units based on small inexpensive CO2 loggers, originally made for indoor air quality monitoring, that were tested and adapted for field use. Measurements of soil-atmosphere and lake-atmosphere fluxes, as well as of spatio-temporal dynamics of water CO2 concentrations (expressed as the equivalent partial pressure, pCO2aq) in lakes and a stream network are provided as examples. Results from all these examples indicate that this approach can provide a cost- and labor efficient alternative for direct measurements and monitoring of CO2 flux and pCO2aq in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

  16. Technical Note: Cost-efficient approaches to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and concentrations in terrestrial and aquatic environments using mini loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastviken, D.; Sundgren, I.; Natchimuthu, S.; Reyier, H.; Gålfalk, M.

    2015-06-01

    Fluxes of CO2 are important for our understanding of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas balances. Several significant CO2 fluxes in nature may still be unknown as illustrated by recent findings of high CO2 emissions from aquatic environments, previously not recognized in global carbon balances. Therefore, it is important to develop convenient and affordable ways to measure CO2 in many types of environments. At present, direct measurements of CO2 fluxes from soil or water, or CO2 concentrations in surface water, are typically labor intensive or require costly equipment. We here present an approach with measurement units based on small inexpensive CO2 loggers, originally made for indoor air quality monitoring, that were tested and adapted for field use. Measurements of soil-atmosphere and lake-atmosphere fluxes, as well as of spatiotemporal dynamics of water CO2 concentrations (expressed as the equivalent partial pressure, pCO2aq) in lakes and a stream network are provided as examples. Results from all these examples indicate that this approach can provide a cost- and labor-efficient alternative for direct measurements and monitoring of CO2 flux and pCO2aq in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

  17. Possibility of the most cost efficient choice: a divided process approach to method and location selection for municipal solid waste management.

    PubMed

    Korucu, M Kemal; Cihan, Ahmet; Alkan, Atakan; Ozbay, Ismail; Karademir, Aykan; Aladag, Zerrin

    2014-11-01

    As studies on municipal solid waste management increased in recent years, many new mathematical models and approaches with a focus on determining the best treatment and disposal scenario were developed and applied. In this study, a mixed integer linear programming model was developed to be used as a facilitative tool for the cost minimisation of municipal solid waste management practices. Since municipal solid waste mass is a mixed composition of various types of waste components with different physical and chemical properties, the model was designed to include all the suitable treatment and disposal methods for these different waste components. The method alternatives with multiple waste inputs, such as aerobic biological treatment and the thermal processes, were divided into a number of inputs to remove their non-linear structures. This way, linear programming could be used, and the linear cost function could be minimised over a set of linear constraints with integer variables. The model was applied to the city of Kocaeli, which will require a new waste management application in the future, beginning from 2015. The results obtained for different haul distance constraints in the study area were presented and assessed. The results showed that all the information required for a comprehensive management task could be modelled by a linear optimisation model with a divided processes approach easily.

  18. Molecular approaches to solar energy conversion: the energetic cost of charge separation from molecular-excited states.

    PubMed

    Durrant, James R

    2013-08-13

    This review starts with a brief overview of the technological potential of molecular-based solar cell technologies. It then goes on to focus on the core scientific challenge associated with using molecular light-absorbing materials for solar energy conversion, namely the separation of short-lived, molecular-excited states into sufficiently long-lived, energetic, separated charges capable of generating an external photocurrent. Comparisons are made between different molecular-based solar cell technologies, with particular focus on the function of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical solar cells as well as parallels with the function of photosynthetic reaction centres. The core theme of this review is that generating charge carriers with sufficient lifetime and a high quantum yield from molecular-excited states comes at a significant energetic cost-such that the energy stored in these charge-separated states is typically substantially less than the energy of the initially generated excited state. The role of this energetic loss in limiting the efficiency of solar energy conversion by such devices is emphasized, and strategies to minimize this energy loss are compared and contrasted.

  19. Digital versatile disc bipolar electrode: A fast and low-cost approach for visual sensing of analytes and electrocatalysts screening.

    PubMed

    Shayan, Mohsen; Kiani, Abolfazl

    2015-08-12

    This work represents a new, extremely low cost and easy method for fabrication of bipolar electrode (BPE) for rapid and simultaneous screening of potential candidates for electrocatalytic reactions and sensing applications. Our method takes advantage of the silver reflective layer deposited on already available recordable digital versatile disc (DVD-R) polycarbonate substrate which acts as BPE. Oxidation of the reflective layer of the DVD-R in anodic pole of the BPE results in a permanent and visually measurable dissolute length. Therefore, one could correlate the electrocatalytic activity of the catalyst at the cathodic pole of the BPE, as well as the concentration of analyte in the solution, to the dissolution length of the BPE. To illustrate the promising applications of this new substrate as BPE, p-benzoquinone (BQ) and hydrogen peroxide were tested as model targets for the sensing application. Moreover, in order to show the feasibility of using DVD BPEs for screening applications, the electrocatalytic activity of Pt, Pd, Au, and pristine DVD substrate toward hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) were compared using an array of BPEs prepared on DVD substrate.

  20. Forest fires and environmental haze in Southeast Asia: using the 'stakeholder' approach to assign costs and responsibilities.

    PubMed

    Quah, E; Johnston, D

    2001-10-01

    The 'seasonal haze' problem is one which afflicts large parts of Southeast Asia in years of drought. The major cause is forest, bush and field fires in the states of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, and to a lesser extent in Sabah, Sarawak, and other parts of Malaysia. Almost all of these fires now seem preventable, since they are intentionally set to clear land for cultivation. Theoretically, the government authorities at central, provincial and local levels in these countries should be responsible for controlling activities in their territory. In practice, however, air pollution control through regulatory policies and practices is extraordinarily difficult to implement and maintain in a situation of this kind in developing countries, especially at a time of crippling economic setbacks. Moreover, the establishment of legal liability, through an international tribunal or otherwise, hardly seems a politically feasible course of action for the government of an affluent 'victim state' such as Singapore. Faith in the usual solutions--science, regulation, law and diplomacy--is weakened by one's sense of current realities. The purpose of this paper is to review the issues and suggested responses, the cost implications of each, the responsibilities as well as entitlements that might apply to the various stakeholders, and the special role of Singapore as an affluent 'victim state'. We also discuss the incentive mechanisms that would be needed to manage forest fires.

  1. Enabling Low Cost Biopharmaceuticals: A Systematic Approach to Delete Proteases from a Well-Known Protein Production Host Trichoderma reesei

    PubMed Central

    Landowski, Christopher P.; Huuskonen, Anne; Wahl, Ramon; Westerholm-Parvinen, Ann; Kanerva, Anne; Hänninen, Anna-Liisa; Salovuori, Noora; Penttilä, Merja; Natunen, Jari; Ostermeier, Christian; Helk, Bernhard; Saarinen, Juhani; Saloheimo, Markku

    2015-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei has tremendous capability to secrete proteins. Therefore, it would be an excellent host for producing high levels of therapeutic proteins at low cost. Developing a filamentous fungus to produce sensitive therapeutic proteins requires that protease secretion is drastically reduced. We have identified 13 major secreted proteases that are related to degradation of therapeutic antibodies, interferon alpha 2b, and insulin like growth factor. The major proteases observed were aspartic, glutamic, subtilisin-like, and trypsin-like proteases. The seven most problematic proteases were sequentially removed from a strain to develop it for producing therapeutic proteins. After this the protease activity in the supernatant was dramatically reduced down to 4% of the original level based upon a casein substrate. When antibody was incubated in the six protease deletion strain supernatant, the heavy chain remained fully intact and no degradation products were observed. Interferon alpha 2b and insulin like growth factor were less stable in the same supernatant, but full length proteins remained when incubated overnight, in contrast to the original strain. As additional benefits, the multiple protease deletions have led to faster strain growth and higher levels of total protein in the culture supernatant. PMID:26309247

  2. Challenging sequential approach to treatment resistant depression: cost-utility analysis based on the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR(⁎)D) trial.

    PubMed

    Olgiati, Paolo; Bajo, Emanuele; Bigelli, Marco; Montgomery, Stuart; Serretti, Alessandro

    2013-12-01

    In major depression, when a first antidepressant does not cause remission of symptoms (60%-75%), there are several options for continuing treatment in the next step. This study is a cost-utility analysis (CUA) of different second-line approaches. In a simulated trial outpatients with MDD were treated with citalopram for 13 weeks (level 1), then based on two alternative algorithms implemented from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR(*)D) study. Algorithm A: citalopram was continued until study endpoint (week 26). Algorithm B: patients who remitted during level 1 continued citalopram. Those who did not remit could opt for switching to another antidepressant (venlafaxine; sertraline) (b1) or adding bupropion to citalopram treatment (augmentation; b2). Algorithm B increased remission rate by 10.6% over Algorithm A (number needed to treat: 9.9; sensitivity range: 9.1-12.5). As a comparison, differences between active antidepressants and placebo are associated with NNT values of 6 to 8. In CUA Algorithm B was dominant with an ICER of $11,813 (sensitivity range=$1783 - $21,784), which is <1GDP per capita cost-effectiveness threshold (USA=$47,193). Among Algorithm B options, switching (b1) dominated Algorithm A with a smaller number of responders than augmentation approach (b2) (NNT 11 vs. 7.7), whereas ICER values were similar (b1: $14,738; b2: $15,458). However we cannot exclude a bias in selecting second treatment. This cost-utility analysis shows (in line with current guidelines) a benefit in modifying antidepressant treatment if response to first-line agent does not occur within 3 months, but not a clear-cut evidence in terms of NNT.

  3. Development of a low-cost, high-throughput native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (N-PAGE) protocol for lipoprotein sub-fractionation using Quality by Design approach.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Mili; Chaudhary, Neha; Rathore, Anurag S

    2014-04-01

    Ratio of low density to high density lipoprotein concentration is critical for normal functioning of human body. Deviation in this ratio has been linked to various diseases, many of which are fatal if not diagnosed at early stages. For example, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been linked to the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL). Henceforth, detection of the lipoprotein subtractions is crucial for health of an individual. To date, methods like ultracentrifugation, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gradient gel electrophoresis (GGE) have been used for separation and identification of lipoprotein types and subtypes. However, these methods are expensive, time consuming and require specialized equipments and expertise. This paper aims to propose a low-cost, high-throughput native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (N-PAGE) based protocol for analysis of lipoproteins. Quality by Design (QbD) based approach has been utilized. The initial screening of parameters was followed by a fractional factorial design to optimize the protocol. The lipoprotein subtractions obtained by the optimized protocol were compared with the commercially available and commonly used Lipoprint(®) Lipoprotein Subfractions Testing System from Quantimetrix. The proposed method gave comparable results to those obtained with the commercial system. The proposed method is capable of analysis of up to forty different samples in two hours at a cost of approximately 2$/sample. This is an order of magnitude better than the present cost of 265$/sample when using the commercial system. We think that the proposed method would be of particular interest to the developing and under-developed economies of the world, where this cost differential would be deemed quite significant and would make testing affordable to the majority of the population.

  4. Teaching ABC & Cost Behaviors to Non-Numbers People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Virginia Anne; Rudnick, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Simply put, a cost analysis studies how you spend your money. Activity based costing models associate costs with services and cost benefit analysis weighs whether or not the costs expended were worth the money given the efforts involved and the results achieved. This study seeks to understand the financial choices and information seeking behaviors…

  5. A new, effective and low-cost three-dimensional approach for the estimation of upper-limb volume.

    PubMed

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-05-26

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland-Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was -21.9 mL (-5.7%) (LOA: -62.0 to 18.2 mL; -18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms' was -9.9 mL (-0.6%) (LOA: -49.6 to 29.8 mL; -2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab's intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications.

  6. Estimating the cost of improving service quality in water supply: A shadow price approach for England and wales.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Service quality to customers is an aspect that cannot be ignored in the performance assessment of water companies. Nowadays water regulators introduce awards or penalties to incentivize companies to improve service quality to customers when setting prices. In this study, the directional distance function is employed to estimate the shadow prices of variables indicating the lack of service quality to customers in the water industry i.e., written complaints, unplanned interruptions and properties below the reference level. To calculate the shadow price of each undesirable output for each water company, it is needed to ascribe a reference price for the desirable output which is the volume of water delivered. An empirical application is carried out for water companies in England and Wales. Hence, the shadow price of each undesirable output is expressed both as a percentage of the price of the desirable output and in pence per cubic meter of water delivered The estimated results indicate that on average, each additional written complaint that needs to be dealt with by the water company includes a service quality cost of 0.399p/m(3). As expected, when looking at the other service quality variables which involve network repair or replacement, these values are considerably higher. On average, the water company must spend an extra 0.622p/m(3) to prevent one unplanned interruption and 0.702p/m(3) to avoid one water pressure below the reference level. The findings of this study are of great importance for regulated companies and regulators as it has been illustrated that improvements in the service quality in terms of customer service could be challenging and therefore ongoing investments will be required to address these issues.

  7. A New, Effective and Low-Cost Three-Dimensional Approach for the Estimation of Upper-Limb Volume

    PubMed Central

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland–Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was −21.9 mL (−5.7%) (LOA: −62.0 to 18.2 mL; −18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms’ was −9.9 mL (−0.6%) (LOA: −49.6 to 29.8 mL; −2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab’s intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications. PMID:26016917

  8. Costs of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the Government and NGO service delivery systems in Bangladesh: a supply side perspective.

    PubMed

    Islam, Ziaul; Sarker, Abdur Razzaque; Anwar, Shahela; Kabir, Humayun; Gazi, Rukhsana

    2015-01-01

    To estimate additional total cost and average cost of integrating the demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the existing Government and NGO facilities in Bangladesh. Activity based cost analysis was conducted during 2006-2008 in two low performing rural sub-districts (Nabigong and Raipur sub-district) and one urban slum area in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Activity-based cost data were collected using ingredient approach, which comprised of listing all types of inputs by activity, quantities and prices for each input. Total cost was presented according to capital and recurrent items. The supply side perspective was considered for entire analysis. The total cost of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity (DBRHC) model into the Government and NGO service delivery system was estimated to BDT 18,667,634 (US$274,524). The proportion of capital cost was 59 % and the recurrent cost was 41 % of the total cost. The average cost per beneficiaries was BDT 230 (US$3.38) only for introducing this model into the existing health system. The built-in interventions of DBRHC model were doable at low-cost at the selected Government and NGO settings at the grass-root level. The model has potential of further cost containment during scaling up-if the intervention costs are adjusted with the existing functionaries of the Government and NGOs.

  9. Smartphones for post-event analysis: a low-cost and easily accessible approach for mapping natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarolli, Paolo; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Sofia, Giulia; Dalla Fontana, Giancarlo

    2015-04-01

    A real opportunity and challenge for the hazard mapping is offered by the use of smartphones and low-cost and flexible photogrammetric technique (i.e. 'Structure-from-Motion'-SfM-). Differently from the other traditional photogrammetric methods, the SfM allows to reconstitute three-dimensional geometries (Digital Surface Models, DSMs) from randomly acquired images. The images can be acquired by standalone digital cameras (compact or reflex), or even by smartphones built-in cameras. This represents a "revolutionary" advance compared with more expensive technologies and applications (e.g. Terrestrial Laser Scanner TLS, airborne lidar) (Tarolli, 2014). Through fast, simple and consecutive field surveys, anyone with a smartphone can take a lot of pictures of the same study area. This way, high-resolution and multi-temporal DSMs may be obtained and used to better monitor and understand erosion and deposition processes. Furthermore, these topographic data can also facilitate to quantify volumes of eroded materials due to landslides and recognize the major critical issues that usually occur during a natural hazard (e.g. river bank erosion and/or collapse due to floods). In this work we considered different case studies located in different environmental contexts of Italy, where extensive photosets were obtained using smartphones. TLS data were also considered in the analysis as benchmark to compare with SfM data. Digital Surface Models (DSMs) derived from SfM at centimeter grid-cell resolution revealed to be effective to automatically recognize areas subject to surface instabilities, and estimate quantitatively erosion and deposition volumes, for example. Morphometric indexes such as landform curvature and surface roughness, and statistical thresholds (e.g. standard deviation) of these indices, served as the basis for the proposed analyses. The results indicate that SfM technique through smartphones really offers a fast, simple and affordable alternative to lidar

  10. A Systematic Approach to the Comparison of Cost Efficiency of Endopeptidases for the Hydrolysis of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) By-Products

    PubMed Central

    Egede-Nissen, Henning; Oterhals, Ĺge

    2016-01-01

    Summary The hydrolytic and cost efficiencies of five endopeptidases (Alcalase 2.4L, Corolase 7089, Neutrase 0.8L, Promod 671L and Protex 7L) to hydrolyze Atlantic salmon by-products were compared at standardized activity levels based on a casein assay. The substrate was characterized prior to the hydrolytic experiments (pH=6.5, t=50 °C) to obtain substrate--specific constants for nitrogen to protein mass (in g) ratio, i.e. conversion factor fN=5.23 and total amount of peptide bonds (htot)=9.3 mmol per g of protein. At low enzyme activity to substrate ratio, all enzymes were equally efficient in hydrolyzing the substrate. At highest enzyme activity to substrate ratio, Protex 7L, Alcalase 2.4L and Promod 671L gave higher degree of hydrolysis (DH=14.2–14.6%) than Corolase 7089 (13.2%) and Neutrase 0.8L (11.6%) after 120 min of hydrolysis. No differences were observed in protein recovery (yield of solubilized protein) relative to DH. Determination of DH was followed by the pH-STAT and o-phthaldialdehyde methods. Based on pH-STAT data, response surface regression models were established based on the combined effects of hydrolysis time and enzyme activity to substrate ratio on DH and protein recovery. The modelling approach was combined with enzyme cost to identify the most cost-efficient enzyme (Protex 7L). PMID:28115899

  11. A new approach to obtain metric data from video surveillance: Preliminary evaluation of a low-cost stereo-photogrammetric system.

    PubMed

    Russo, Paolo; Gualdi-Russo, Emanuela; Pellegrinelli, Alberto; Balboni, Juri; Furini, Alessio

    2017-02-01

    Using an interdisciplinary approach the authors demonstrate the possibility to obtain reliable anthropometric data of a subject by means of a new video surveillance system. In general the use of current video surveillance systems provides law enforcement with useful data to solve many crimes. Unfortunately the quality of the images and the way in which they are taken often makes it very difficult to judge the compatibility between suspect and perpetrator. In this paper, the authors present the results obtained with a low-cost photogrammetric video surveillance system based on a pair of common surveillance cameras synchronized with each other. The innovative aspect of the system is that it allows estimation with considerable accuracy not only of body height (error 0.1-3.1cm, SD 1.8-4.5cm) but also of other anthropometric characters of the subject, consequently with better determination of the biological profile and greatly increased effectiveness of the judgment of compatibility.

  12. The Near Earth Object (NEO) Scout Spacecraft: A Low-cost Approach to In-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woeppel, Eric A.; Balsamo, James M.; Fischer, Karl J.; East, Matthew J.; Styborski, Jeremy A.; Roche, Christopher A.; Ott, Mackenzie D.; Scorza, Matthew J.; Doherty, Christopher D.; Trovato, Andrew J.; Volk, Christopher P.; Koontz, Steven L.; Bevilacqua, Riccardo; Swenson, Charles

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a microsatellite spacecraft with supporting mission profile and architecture, designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonably low cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO-Scout. NEO-Scout spacecraft are to be placed in Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO), cis-lunar space, or on earth escape trajectories as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GEO or beyond, and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO-Scout system is to design the spacecraft and mission timeline so as to enable rendezvous with and landing on the target NEO during NEO close approach (<0.3 AU) to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high-impulse propulsion systems. Mission durations are on the order 100 to 400 days. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented, along with detailed trajectory calculations.

  13. Beyond cost-of-energy, the value-of-energy metric and value-centric approaches to design, operations, and maintenance of wind turbines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Kevin

    This thesis is oriented toward developers, owners, operators and investors of renewable energy projects. With increasing demand of renewables, our energy dependence comes down to reducing costs associated with this sector so as to compete with the existing sources. One way of valuing investment potential is to determine and then compare the overall value derived by investing in a particular project. Several engineering and financial levers, one of which is operation and maintenance, affect this value. This thesis provides a useful visual aid to owners and operators by which they can operate and maintain their wind farm so as to achieve maximum value throughout its lifetime. All the necessary components that go into developing a business model of a wind farm project will be discussed. Finally, this tool is valid within the assumptions that are explicitly stated. Real world data and trends are used to provide a practical approach to the optimization.

  14. Asymptomatic space-occupying lesions of the kidney: a programmed sequential approach and its impact on quality and cost of health care.

    PubMed

    Lang, E K

    1977-03-01

    Sequential roentgenographic investigation of asymptomatic space-occupying lesions of the kidney is credited with establishing the diagnosis in 84.6% of 940 patients using only two examinations. Two thirds of all patients were diagnosed by relatively noninvasive technics such as infusion nephrotomogram, renal scintiscan, and the cyst puncture and aspiration test complex. Only for 2.3% was surgical exploration required to establish a diagnosis. The accuracy and confidence level of the diagnosis obtained by roentgenographic examinations (97%) compared well to that of surgical exploration (98%). Mortality and morbidity, however, were considerably reduced among patients examined according to the sequential roentgenographic protocol, as was the cost for diagnosis both in money and hospitalization time. The predominance of older patients in the group harboring asymptomatic space-occupying lesions of the kidney calls for an approach capable of establishing the diagnosis with acceptable confidence, but at a minimum cost in time, money, and complications. Our program of a systematized roentgenographic investigation of such lesions appears to provide a protocol capable of meeting these demands.

  15. Molecular diagnostic profiling of lung cancer specimens with a semiconductor-based massive parallel sequencing approach: feasibility, costs, and performance compared with conventional sequencing.

    PubMed

    Endris, Volker; Penzel, Roland; Warth, Arne; Muckenhuber, Alexander; Schirmacher, Peter; Stenzinger, Albrecht; Weichert, Wilko

    2013-11-01

    In the context of personalized oncology, screening for somatic tumor mutations is crucial for prediction of an individual patient's response to therapy. Massive parallel sequencing (MPS) has been suggested for routine diagnostics, but this technology has not been sufficiently evaluated with respect to feasibility, reliability, and cost effectiveness with routine diagnostic formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material. We performed ultradeep targeted semiconductor-based MPS (190 amplicons covering hotspot mutations in 46 genes) in a variety of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded diagnostic samples of lung adenocarcinoma tissue with known EGFR mutations (n = 28). The samples reflected the typical spectrum of tissue material for diagnostics, including small biopsies and samples with low tumor-cell content. Using MPS, we successfully sequenced all samples, with a mean read depth of 2947 reads per amplicon. High-quality sequence reads were obtained from samples containing ≥10% tumor material. In all but one sample, variant calling identified the same EGFR mutations as were detected by conventional Sanger sequencing. Moreover, we identified 43 additional mutations in 17 genes and detected amplifications in the EGFR and ERBB2 genes. MPS performance was reliable and independent of the type of material, as well as of the fixation and extraction methods, but was influenced by tumor-cell content and the degree of DNA degradation. Using sample multiplexing, focused MPS approached diagnostically acceptable cost rates.

  16. An In-Service Teachers' Workshop on Mathematical Problem Solving through Activity-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toh, Tin Lam

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes an in-service professional development course in introducing creative approaches to teach mathematics for teachers from the private-funded schools in Java, Indonesia. The course focused on introducing teachers to problem-solving processes and skills, and samples of activity-based worksheet on problem solving through secondary…

  17. A Comparison of Activity-Based Intervention and Embedded Direct Instruction When Teaching Emergent Literacy Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botts, Dawn C.; Losardo, Angela S.; Tillery, Christina Y.; Werts, Margaret G.

    2014-01-01

    This replication study focused on the effectiveness of two different intervention approaches, activity-based intervention and embedded direct instruction, on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of phonological awareness, a key area of emergent literacy, by preschool children with language delays. Five male preschool participants with…

  18. Ion propulsion cost effectivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zafran, S.; Biess, J. J.

    1978-01-01

    Ion propulsion modules employing 8-cm thrusters and 30-cm thrusters were studied for Multimission Modular Spacecraft (MMS) applications. Recurring and nonrecurring cost elements were generated for these modules. As a result, ion propulsion cost drivers were identified to be Shuttle charges, solar array, power processing, and thruster costs. Cost effective design approaches included short length module configurations, array power sharing, operation at reduced thruster input power, simplified power processing units, and power processor output switching. The MMS mission model employed indicated that nonrecurring costs have to be shared with other programs unless the mission model grows. Extended performance missions exhibited the greatest benefits when compared with monopropellant hydrazine propulsion.

  19. A new simple, low-cost approach for generation of the PM10 fraction from soil and related materials: application to human health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Boisa, Ndokiari; Entwistle, Jane; Dean, John R

    2014-12-10

    A new simple, robust and low-cost wet laboratory method for the generation of the <10 μm (PM10) particle size fraction is reported. A sedimentation method is directly compared with a centrifugation method for generation of the PM10 fraction. Both approaches are based on an integrated form of Stokes' law. Subsequently the sedimentation method was adopted. The results from the sedimentation method were corroborated using particle size distribution measurements. This approach for the generation of the PM10 fraction was applied to soil and mine waste samples from Mitrovica, Kosovo as part of an investigation in to the human risk assessment from inhalation of the PM10 fraction containing potentially harmful elements (PHEs). The average daily dose for Cd from the inhalation of suspended soil particles was calculated to be 0.021 and 0.010 μg kg(-1) BW d(-1) for a child and an adult, respectively. This corresponded to an inhalation dose of 0.50 and 0.70 μg Cdd(-1) for a child (20 kg) and an adult (70 kg), respectively.

  20. Activity Based Startup Plan for Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner

    SciTech Connect

    SUTTER, C.S.

    1999-08-31

    Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at PFP were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The restart of testing activities will require a review through an activity based startup process based upon Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles to verify readiness. The Activity Based Startup Plan has been developed for this process.

  1. Planning for Cost Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlaebitz, William D.

    1984-01-01

    A heat pump life-cycle cost analysis is used to explain the technique. Items suggested for the life-cycle analysis approach include lighting, longer-life batteries, site maintenance, and retaining experts to inspect specific building components. (MLF)

  2. Analyzing Bilingual Education Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernal, Joe J.

    This paper examines the particular problems involved in analyzing the costs of bilingual education and suggests that cost analysis of bilingual education requires a fundamentally different approach than that followed in other recent school finance studies. Focus of the discussion is the Intercultural Development Research Association's (IDRA)…

  3. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed Central

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-01-01

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template. PMID:7724558

  4. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-04-11

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template.

  5. Utilizing Expert Knowledge in Estimating Future STS Costs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fortner, David B.; Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.

    2004-01-01

    A method of estimating the costs of future space transportation systems (STSs) involves classical activity-based cost (ABC) modeling combined with systematic utilization of the knowledge and opinions of experts to extend the process-flow knowledge of existing systems to systems that involve new materials and/or new architectures. The expert knowledge is particularly helpful in filling gaps that arise in computational models of processes because of inconsistencies in historical cost data. Heretofore, the costs of planned STSs have been estimated following a "top-down" approach that tends to force the architectures of new systems to incorporate process flows like those of the space shuttles. In this ABC-based method, one makes assumptions about the processes, but otherwise follows a "bottoms up" approach that does not force the new system architecture to incorporate a space-shuttle-like process flow. Prototype software has been developed to implement this method. Through further development of software, it should be possible to extend the method beyond the space program to almost any setting in which there is a need to estimate the costs of a new system and to extend the applicable knowledge base in order to make the estimate.

  6. Extending transaction cost economics: towards a synthesised approach for analysing contracting in health care markets with experience from the Australian private sector.

    PubMed

    Donato, Ronald

    2010-12-01

    Transaction cost economics (TCE) has been the dominant economic paradigm for analysing contracting, and the framework has been applied in a number of health care contexts. However, TCE has particular limitations when applied to complex industry settings and there have been calls to extend the framework to incorporate dynamic theories of industrial organisation, specifically the resource-based view (RBV). This paper analyses how such calls for theoretical pluralism are particularly germane to health care markets and examines whether a combined TCE-RBV provides a more comprehensive approach for understanding the nature of contractual arrangements that have developed within the Australian private health care sector and its implications for informing policy. This Australian case study involved a series of interviews with 14 senior contracting executives from the seven major health funds (i.e. 97% of the insured population) and seven major private hospital groups (i.e. 73% of the private hospital beds). Study findings reveal that both the TCE perspective with its focus on exchange hazards, and the RBV approach with its emphasis on the dynamic nature of capabilities, each provide a partial explanation of the developments associated with contracting between health funds and hospital groups. For a select few organisations, close inter-firm relational ties involving trust and mutual commitment attenuate complex exchange hazards through greater information sharing and reduced propensity to behave opportunistically. Further, such close relational ties also provide denser communication channels for creating and transmitting more complex information enabling organisations to tap into each other's complementary resources and capabilities. For policymakers, having regard to both TCE and RBV considerations provides the opportunity to apply competition policy beyond the current static notions of efficiency and welfare gains, and cautions policymakers against specifying ex ante the

  7. Costs analysis of a population level rabies control programme in Tamil Nadu, India.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Syed Shahid; Kakkar, Manish; Rogawski, Elizabeth Tacket

    2014-02-01

    The study aimed to determine costs to the state government of implementing different interventions for controlling rabies among the entire human and animal populations of Tamil Nadu. This built upon an earlier assessment of Tamil Nadu's efforts to control rabies. Anti-rabies vaccines were made available at all health facilities. Costs were estimated for five different combinations of animal and human interventions using an activity-based costing approach from the provider perspective. Disease and population data were sourced from the state surveillance data, human census and livestock census. Program costs were extrapolated from official documents. All capital costs were depreciated to estimate annualized costs. All costs were inflated to 2012 Rupees. Sensitivity analysis was conducted across all major cost centres to assess their relative impact on program costs. It was found that the annual costs of providing Anti-rabies vaccine alone and in combination with Immunoglobulins was $0.7 million (Rs 36 million) and $2.2 million (Rs 119 million), respectively. For animal sector interventions, the annualised costs of rolling out surgical sterilisation-immunization, injectable immunization and oral immunizations were estimated to be $ 44 million (Rs 2,350 million), $23 million (Rs 1,230 million) and $ 11 million (Rs 590 million), respectively. Dog bite incidence, health systems coverage and cost of rabies biologicals were found to be important drivers of costs for human interventions. For the animal sector interventions, the size of dog catching team, dog population and vaccine costs were found to be driving the costs. Rabies control in Tamil Nadu seems a costly proposition the way it is currently structured. Policy makers in Tamil Nadu and other similar settings should consider the long-term financial sustainability before embarking upon a state or nation-wide rabies control programme.

  8. A facile and cost-effective approach to engineer surface roughness for preparation of large-scale superhydrophobic substrate with high adhesive force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Bingpu; Tian, Jingxuan; Wang, Cong; Gao, Yibo; Wen, Weijia

    2016-12-01

    This study presents a convenient avenue to fabricate polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with controllable surface morphologies and wetting characteristics via standard molding technique. The templates with engineered surface roughness were simply prepared by combinations of microfluidics and photo-polymerization of N-Isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM). The surface morphology of mold could be adjusted via ultraviolet-curing duration or the grafting density, which means that the surface of PDMS sample replicated from the mold could also be easily controlled based on the proposed method. Furthermore, via multiple grafting and replication processes, we have successfully demonstrated that hydrophobicity properties of prepared PDMS samples could be swiftly enhanced to ∼154° with highly adhesive force with resident water droplets. The obtained PDMS samples exhibited well resistance to external mechanical deformation even up to 100 cycles. The proposed scheme is timesaving, cost-effective and suitable for large-scale production of superhydrophobic PDMS substrates. We believe that the presented approach can provide a promising method for preparing superhydrophobic surface with highly adhesive force for on-chip liquid transport, localized reaction, etc.

  9. A single-nucleotide polymorphism-based approach for rapid and cost-effective genetic wolf monitoring in Europe based on noninvasively collected samples.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Robert H S; vonHoldt, Bridgett; Cocchiararo, Berardino; Harms, Verena; Bayerl, Helmut; Kühn, Ralph; Förster, Daniel W; Fickel, Jörns; Roos, Christian; Nowak, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Noninvasive genetics based on microsatellite markers has become an indispensable tool for wildlife monitoring and conservation research over the past decades. However, microsatellites have several drawbacks, such as the lack of standardisation between laboratories and high error rates. Here, we propose an alternative single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based marker system for noninvasively collected samples, which promises to solve these problems. Using nanofluidic SNP genotyping technology (Fluidigm), we genotyped 158 wolf samples (tissue, scats, hairs, urine) for 192 SNP loci selected from the Affymetrix v2 Canine SNP Array. We carefully selected an optimised final set of 96 SNPs (and discarded the worse half), based on assay performance and reliability. We found rates of missing data in this SNP set of <10% and genotyping error of ~1%, which improves genotyping accuracy by nearly an order of magnitude when compared to published data for other marker types. Our approach provides a tool for rapid and cost-effective genotyping of noninvasively collected wildlife samples. The ability to standardise genotype scoring combined with low error rates promises to constitute a major technological advancement and could establish SNPs as a standard marker for future wildlife monitoring.

  10. Dynamic Cost Risk Assessment for Controlling the Cost of Naval Vessels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-08-24

    in 1996. Her research interests include the application of activity-based costing in government organizations, cost estimating, the valuation of R& D ...situation should prompt the project manager to seek help from the acquisition community. There is an ongoing major shift in R& D and complex...risks using the standard DoD risk-identification process. PROJECT COST RANGE LI K EL IH O O D (P R O B A B IL IT Y) Macroscopic baseline costs

  11. Medical Logistics Functional Integration Management Activity Based Costing and Data Modeling Workshop. Volume 2

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-02

    e.g., mobile and cellular), radios, pagers, security systems, access codes, and personal identification machines . COMMUNICATION-OUTLET A subtype of...delivering mail. PREVENTIVE- MAINTANCE Systematic and/or prescribed maintenance intended to reduce the probability of failure. (JCS Publ) PROGRAM A planed

  12. Applicability of an Activity Based Cost System in Government Service Organizations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-09-01

    InfAormato Pzowxu2 Library Process 2: Pc Cot of Activities Comprising Process 2LirryPoes :Provide Technica Sevi , Activity 68% Administrative Supplies 76...personnel within those categories. Within the case study organization, civilian management personnel were adamant about presenting detailed process and...America. Conyers, John Jr. "Vigilance in Government," The Government Accountants Journal, Vol XXXX, No 5, Spring 1991. Cooper, Robin . "The Rise of

  13. Activity-Based Costing Models for Alternative Modes of Delivering On-Line Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garbett, Chris

    2011-01-01

    In recent years there has been growth in online distance learning courses. This has been prompted by; new technology such as the Internet, mobile learning, video and audio conferencing: the explosion in student numbers in Higher Education, and the need for outreach to a world wide market. Web-based distance learning is seen as a solution to…

  14. Medical Logistics Functional Integration Management Activity Based Costing and Data Modeling Workshop. Volume 1

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-02

    Appendix wre Incuded to give the reader a cursory3 ~look at the IDEF data moideling techniques; ( IDEFIX ). Definition 3 ~documentation of data elements...and their relationships in the enerprise. The IDEFIX technique is the key to achieving integration. As a resut of applying the techniquie,3 ~unique data...definitions emerge, which describe the stable wacwe of an organizaion’s rwsable data. Components Activities I Th~e basic components of an IDEFIX

  15. Cost goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoag, J.

    1981-01-01

    Cost goal activities for the point focusing parabolic dish program are reported. Cost goals involve three tasks: (1) determination of the value of the dish systems to potential users; (2) the cost targets of the dish system are set out; (3) the value side and cost side are integrated to provide information concerning the potential size of the market for parabolic dishes. The latter two activities are emphasized.

  16. Tracking Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Even though there's been a slight reprieve in energy costs, the reality is that the cost of non-renewable energy is increasing, and state education budgets are shrinking. One way to keep energy and operations costs from overshadowing education budgets is to develop a 10-year energy audit plan to eliminate waste. First, facility managers should…

  17. Benchmarking Non-Hardware Balance-of-System (Soft) Costs for U.S. Photovoltaic Systems, Using a Bottom-Up Approach and Installer Survey - Second Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, B.; Ardani, K.; Feldman, D.; Citron, R.; Margolis, R.; Zuboy, J.

    2013-10-01

    This report presents results from the second U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored, bottom-up data-collection and analysis of non-hardware balance-of-system costs -- often referred to as 'business process' or 'soft' costs -- for U.S. residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems. In service to DOE's SunShot Initiative, annual expenditure and labor-hour-productivity data are analyzed to benchmark 2012 soft costs related to (1) customer acquisition and system design (2) permitting, inspection, and interconnection (PII). We also include an in-depth analysis of costs related to financing, overhead, and profit. Soft costs are both a major challenge and a major opportunity for reducing PV system prices and stimulating SunShot-level PV deployment in the United States. The data and analysis in this series of benchmarking reports are a step toward the more detailed understanding of PV soft costs required to track and accelerate these price reductions.

  18. Activity Based Startup Plan for Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner

    SciTech Connect

    SUTTER, C.S.

    1999-08-16

    Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at Plutonium Finish Plant (PFP) were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The restart of testing activities will require a review through an activity based startup process based upon Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles to verify readiness. The Activity Based Startup Plan for the Prototype vertical Denitration Calciner has been developed for this process.

  19. Mapping grazing-induced degradation in a semi-arid environment: a rapid and cost effective approach for assessment and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Mark; Vlok, Jan; Rouget, Mathieu; Hoffman, M T; Balmford, Andrew; Cowling, R M

    2009-04-01

    Improved techniques for measuring and monitoring the state of biodiversity are required for reporting on national obligations to international and regional conservation institutions. Measuring the extent of grazing-related degradation in semi-arid ecosystems has proved difficult. Here we present an accurate and cost-effective method for doing this, and apply it in a South African semi-arid region that forms part of a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. We grouped structurally and functionally similar vegetation units, which were expert-mapped at the 1:50,000 scale, into four habitat types, and developed habitat-specific degradation models. We quantified degradation into three categories, using differences between dry and wet season values of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the three succulent karoo habitats, and the difference between maximum and mean NDVI values for the subtropical thicket habitat. Field evaluation revealed an accuracy of 86%. Overall, degradation was high: 24% of the study area was modeled as severely degraded, and only 9% as intact. Levels of degradation were highest for bottomland habitats that were most exposed to grazing impacts. In sharp contrast to our methods, a widely used, broad-scale and snapshot assessment of land cover in South Africa was only 33% accurate, and it considerably underestimated the extent of severely degraded habitat in the study area. While our approach requires a multidisciplinary team, and in particular expert knowledge on the characteristics and spatial delimitation of vegetation types, it is repeatable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive. Consequently, it holds great promise for monitoring and evaluation programs in semi-arid ecosystems, in Africa, and beyond.

  20. Having a multi facetted approach to complex organic molecules formation: the European COST initiative ‘Our Astochemical History’ and the formaldehyde/methanol formation example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesenfeld, Laurent; Ceccarelli, Cecilia; Lefloch, Bertrand

    2015-08-01

    Formaldehyde (H2CO) and methanol (CH3OH) are among the few molecules that have been detected in the solid phase, in the icy mantles that cover interstellar grains. They have been also widely observed in the gas phase of many cold gases, with high somewhat comparable abundances. The synthetic routes leading from ubiquitous CO to these hydrogenated CO molecules have been widely discussed in the literature. Also, deuterated (and per-deuterated) isotopomers of both H2CO and CH3OH have been detected, with very high enrichment in D over the 10-5 cosmic abundance of D with respect to H.In this presentation, we wish to review the first steps of the hysdrogenation processes and describe how they have been recently treated, in the laboratory, the modelling and in theoretical chemical physics.We take and discuss this example as the perfect illustration of the necessity of having a multifaceted approach to the problems we face:1. How to hydrogenated CO towards H2CO: gas phase/solid phase chemistry. (Peters29013; Rimola2014)2. How to detect H2CO / HDCO in the gas phase, in a quantitative manner: LTE vs. non-LTE excitation. (Wiesenfeld2014)3. What is the role of laboratory experiments, how relevant are they, and more important, how challenging are they? (Hama2013)4. Is deuterium enrichment a good tracer for the history ? (Taquet2013)Some of the questions have received an answer in recent years, and we shall briefly describe those, with special emphasis to a joint chemistry-astrophysics approach.We describe the European COST network ‘Our Astrochemical History’ (http://prague2015astrohistory.vscht.cz/) , whichbrings together specialists of many areas of chemistry together with astronomy, in order to address this kind of problem. Succeeding former European initiatives that shaped the field of Astrochemistry, it focussses on the molecular evolution towards higher complexity and aim sat delivering new schemes for physical chemistry at large, like chemistry of transient species

  1. Cost Estimation and Control for Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammond, Walter E.; Vanhook, Michael E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Good program management practices, cost analysis, cost estimation, and cost control for aerospace flight systems are interrelated and depend upon each other. The best cost control process cannot overcome poor design or poor systems trades that lead to the wrong approach. The project needs robust Technical, Schedule, Cost, Risk, and Cost Risk practices before it can incorporate adequate Cost Control. Cost analysis both precedes and follows cost estimation -- the two are closely coupled with each other and with Risk analysis. Parametric cost estimating relationships and computerized models are most often used. NASA has learned some valuable lessons in controlling cost problems, and recommends use of a summary Project Manager's checklist as shown here.

  2. Holding Down Costs at Academic Research Libraries: A Consortial Approach. Final Report Submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemke, Darrell

    The first of five sections in this final report for the College Cost Containment Project describes the organizational structure and purposes of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) and identifies the cost containment issues addressed by the project. The remaining sections describe the programs developed by the WRLC as appropriate…

  3. [Determinants of the cost of initiation of insulin therapy type 2 diabetic patients in France: possible approaches to optimization].

    PubMed

    Hanaire, Hélène; Attali, Claude; Lecointre, Brigitte; Fraysse, Martial; Gouet, Didier; Babel, Marie-Renée; Charbonnel, Bernard; Sarkozy, François; Gourmelen, Julie; Detournay, Bruno

    2016-12-19

    Increased costs cannot be exclusively attributed to the consequences of insulin prescription. Any initiative designed to accelerate acquisition of patient autonomy would be likely to reduce the costs observed after switching to insulin, provided this initiative is adapted to the patient’s health profile, diabetes history and available medical resources..

  4. The potential cost-effectiveness of the Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System for treating de novo, severely calcified coronary lesions: an economic modeling approach

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, Jeffrey; Généreux, Philippe; Lee, Arthur; Lewin, Jack; Young, Christopher; Crittendon, Janna; Mann, Marita; Garrison, Louis P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for severely calcified coronary lesions have long been known to have worse clinical and economic outcomes than patients with no or mildly calcified lesions. We sought to assess the likely cost-effectiveness of using the Diamondback 360® Orbital Atherectomy System (OAS) in the treatment of de novo, severely calcified lesions from a health-system perspective. Methods and results: In the absence of a head-to-head trial and long-term follow up, cost-effectiveness was based on a modeled synthesis of clinical and economic data. A cost-effectiveness model was used to project the likely economic impact. To estimate the net cost impact, the cost of using the OAS technology in elderly (⩾ 65 years) Medicare patients with de novo severely calcified lesions was compared with cost offsets. Elderly OAS patients from the ORBIT II trial (Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of OAS in Treating Severely Calcified Coronary Lesions) [ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01092426] were indirectly compared with similar patients using observational data. For the index procedure, the comparison was with Medicare data, and for both revascularization and cardiac death in the following year, the comparison was with a pooled analysis of the Harmonizing Outcomes with Revascularization and Stents in Acute Myocardial Infarction (HORIZONS-AMI)/Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage Strategy (ACUITY) trials. After adjusting for differences in age, gender, and comorbidities, the ORBIT II mean index procedure costs were 17% (p < 0.001) lower, approximately US$2700. Estimated mean revascularization costs were lower by US$1240 in the base case. These cost offsets in the first year, on average, fully cover the cost of the device with an additional 1.2% cost savings. Even in the low-value scenario, the use of the OAS is cost-effective with a cost per life-year gained of US$11,895. Conclusions: Based on economic modeling

  5. Costing RTS,S introduction in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda: A generalizable approach drawing on publicly available data.

    PubMed

    Galactionova, Katya; Bertram, Melanie; Lauer, Jeremy; Tediosi, Fabrizio

    2015-11-27

    Recent results from the phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine show that the vaccine induced partial protection against clinical malaria in infants and children; given the high burden of the disease it is currently considered for use in malaria endemic countries. To inform adoption decisions the paper proposes a generalizable methodology to estimate the cost of vaccine introduction using routinely collected and publicly available data from the cMYP, UNICEF, and WHO-CHOICE. Costing is carried out around a set of generic activities, assumptions, and inputs for delivery of immunization services adapted to a given country and deployment modality to capture among other factors the structure of the EPI program, distribution model, geography, and demographics particular to the setting. The methodology is applied to estimate the cost of RTS,S introduction in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. At an assumed vaccine price of $5 per dose and given our assumptions on coverage and deployment strategy, we estimate total economic program costs for a 6-9 months cohort within $23.11-$28.28 per fully vaccinated child across the 6 countries. Net of procurement, costs at country level are substantial; for instance in Tanzania these could add as much as $4.2 million per year or an additional $2.4 per infant depending on the level of spare capacity in the system. Differences in cost of vaccine introduction across countries are primarily driven by differences in cost of labour. Overall estimates generated with the methodology result in costs within the ranges reported for other new vaccines introduced in SSA and capture multiple sources of heterogeneity in costs across countries. Further validation with data from field trials will support use of the methodology while also serving as a validation for cMYP and WHO-CHOICE as resources for costing health interventions in the region.

  6. The WHO classification of lymphomas: cost-effective immunohistochemistry using a deductive reasoning "decision tree" approach: part II: the decision tree approach: diffuse patterns of proliferation in lymph nodes.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Clive R

    2009-12-01

    The 2008 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues defines current standards of practice for the diagnosis and classification of malignant lymphomas and related entities. More than 50 different types of lymphomas are described. Faced with such a broad range of different lymphomas, some encountered only rarely, and a rapidly growing armamentarium of 80 or more pertinent immunohistochemical (IHC) "stains," the challenge to the pathologist is to use IHC in an efficient manner to arrive at an assured and timely diagnosis. This review uses deductive reasoning following a decision tree or dendrogram model, combining basic morphologic patterns and common IHC markers to classify node-based malignancies by the World Health Organization schema. The review is divided into 2 parts, the first addressing those lymphomas that produce a follicular or nodular pattern of lymph nodal involvement appeared in the previous issue of AIMM. The second part addresses diffuse proliferations in lymph nodes. Emphasis is given to the more common lymphomas and the more commonly available IHC "stains" for a pragmatic and practical approach that is both broadly feasible and cost-effective. By this method, an assured diagnosis may be reached in the majority of nodal lymphomas, at the same time developing a sufficiency of data to recognize those rare or atypical cases that require referral to a specialized center.

  7. Wind Integration Cost and Cost-Causation: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Milligan, M.; Kirby, B.; Holttinen, H.; Kiviluoma, J.; Estanqueiro, A.; Martin-Martinez, S.; Gomez-Lazaro, E.; Peneda, I.; Smith, C.

    2013-10-01

    The question of wind integration cost has received much attention in the past several years. The methodological challenges to calculating integration costs are discussed in this paper. There are other sources of integration cost unrelated to wind energy. A performance-based approach would be technology neutral, and would provide price signals for all technology types. However, it is difficult to correctly formulate such an approach. Determining what is and is not an integration cost is challenging. Another problem is the allocation of system costs to one source. Because of significant nonlinearities, this can prove to be impossible to determine in an accurate and objective way.

  8. Cost tradeoffs in consequence management at nuclear power plants: A risk based approach to setting optimal long-term interdiction limits for regulatory analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Mubayi, V.

    1995-05-01

    The consequences of severe accidents at nuclear power plants can be limited by various protective actions, including emergency responses and long-term measures, to reduce exposures of affected populations. Each of these protective actions involve costs to society. The costs of the long-term protective actions depend on the criterion adopted for the allowable level of long-term exposure. This criterion, called the ``long term interdiction limit,`` is expressed in terms of the projected dose to an individual over a certain time period from the long-term exposure pathways. The two measures of offsite consequences, latent cancers and costs, are inversely related and the choice of an interdiction limit is, in effect, a trade-off between these two measures. By monetizing the health effects (through ascribing a monetary value to life lost), the costs of the two consequence measures vary with the interdiction limit, the health effect costs increasing as the limit is relaxed and the protective action costs decreasing. The minimum of the total cost curve can be used to calculate an optimal long term interdiction limit. The calculation of such an optimal limit is presented for each of five US nuclear power plants which were analyzed for severe accident risk in the NUREG-1150 program by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  9. How Much Does Instruction and Research Really Cost?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rooney, Patrick M.; Borden, Victor M. H.; Thomas, Timothy J.

    1999-01-01

    Describes an institution-wide activity-based costing study conducted at a large, urban, public university. The program cost study provides campus-, school-, and department-level cost information for the full range of mission-critical activities in teaching, research, and service. It also includes allocation of all levels of overhead to…

  10. Designer's unified cost model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, William T.; Ilcewicz, L. B.; Swanson, G. D.; Gutowski, T.

    1992-01-01

    A conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model has been initiated. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state of the art preliminary design tools and computer aided design programs is being evaluated. The goal of this task is to establish theoretical cost functions that relate geometric design features to summed material cost and labor content in terms of process mechanics and physics. The output of the designers' present analytical tools will be input for the designers' cost prediction model to provide the designer with a data base and deterministic cost methodology that allows one to trade and synthesize designs with both cost and weight as objective functions for optimization. The approach, goals, plans, and progress is presented for development of COSTADE (Cost Optimization Software for Transport Aircraft Design Evaluation).

  11. Designers' unified cost model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, W.; Ilcewicz, L.; Swanson, G.; Gutowski, T.

    1992-01-01

    The Structures Technology Program Office (STPO) at NASA LaRC has initiated development of a conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state-of-the-art preliminary design tools and computer aided design programs is being evaluated. The goal of this task is to establish theoretical cost functions that relate geometric design features to summed material cost and labor content in terms of process mechanics and physics. The output of the designers' present analytical tools will be input for the designers' cost prediction model to provide the designer with a database and deterministic cost methodology that allows one to trade and synthesize designs with both cost and weight as objective functions for optimization. This paper presents the team members, approach, goals, plans, and progress to date for development of COSTADE (Cost Optimization Software for Transport Aircraft Design Evaluation).

  12. Activity-based intervention in motor skill development.

    PubMed

    Apache, R R Goyakla

    2005-06-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of an activity-based intervention program and a direct instruction program for preschool children with disabilities. Two groups of preschool students (average age=4.1 yr.), classified as having developmental delays or at risk for such delays, were selected. They were provided 15 weeks of physical education through activity-based intervention and 15 weeks of physical education by direct instruction. Instruction was provided three times a week for 30-min. each session. In the fall semester the morning group received physical education through activity-based intervention, while the afternoon group received physical education through direct instruction. In the spring semester delivery of instruction was reversed for each group. The curriculum and activities provided to each group were identical with only the instructional delivery format altered. Two sets of pre- and post-tests using the Test of Gross Motor Development were administered before and after each 15-wk. instructional period. Group improvement in skills was compared between instructional methods. Significant improvement in both locomotor and object control skills through the activity-based intervention was found compared to direct instruction. Activity-based intervention was shown to be easily adapted to a naturalistic educational setting befitting that of preschool education.

  13. Accounting for future costs in medical cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, D

    1997-02-01

    Most medical cost-effectiveness analyses include future costs only for related illnesses, but this approach is controversial. This paper demonstrates that cost-effectiveness analysis is consistent with lifetime utility maximization only if it includes all future medical and non-medical expenditures. Estimates of the magnitude of these future costs suggest that they may substantially alter both the absolute and relative cost-effectiveness of medical interventions, particularly when an intervention increases length of life more than quality of life. In older populations, current methods overstate the cost-effectiveness of interventions which extend life compared to interventions which improve the quality of life.

  14. Cost analysis of atmosphere monitoring systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yakut, M. M.

    1973-01-01

    The cost analyses of two leading atmospheric monitoring systems, namely the mass spectrometer and the gas chromatograph, are reported. A summary of the approach used in developing the cost estimating techinques is presented; included are the cost estimating techniques, the development of cost estimating relationships and the atmospheric monitoring system cost estimates.

  15. Nesting High-resolution Multi-layer Photosynthesis Approaches in Current Forest Productivity Models: A Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Time-Frequency Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siqueira, M.; Katul, G.; Sampson, D. A.; Stoy, P.; Juang, J.; Oren, R.

    2004-12-01

    Ecosystem processes relevant to carbon transfer and storage are known to vary over many time and space scales. In the time domain, processes ranging from seconds, such as turbulent transport, to seasons, such as plant phenology, affect assimilation and respiration, which in turn, control carbon allocation over time scales of days to years. These inter-related processes contribute to the forest development (often measured in years to decades) and long-term carbon sequestration. To date, no single model captures the entire spectrum of variability of these processes; rather, a modular approach is adopted in which the forcing and response variables are mechanistically coupled over an inherent or assumed time scale that is then integrated to longer time scales. The effect of such modular parameterization of the "fast" processes and their cross-scale interaction with the slowly varying processes on long-term carbon sequestration remains a subject of investigation. We address this problem in two ways. First, we perform a multi-model inter-comparison in the time and frequency domains to assess how different parameterizations of photosynthesis and water vapor fluxes in forest growth models (e.g. BGC, SECRETS, PnET and 3PG) reproduce the observed spectrum of these two fluxes from hours to years. These models were chosen because they significantly vary in complexity and integration time step, thereby "filtering" the flux spectrum differently. Next, we explore the consequences of this filtering on cross-scale information flow using a newly proposed nested scheme that employs multi-species allocation routines with assimilation calculated with CANVEG. CANVEG is a multi-layer and multi-species model that resolves the entire canopy microclimate and uses a dynamic leaf area density as an input. The analysis is done in a cost-benefit fashion evaluating the gain in predictive skills of long-term carbon sequestration as result of extra model complexity and added parameterizations. As

  16. Divided attention interferes with fulfilling activity-based intentions.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Gene A; Ball, B Hunter; Knight, Justin B; Dewitt, Michael R; Marsh, Richard L

    2011-09-01

    Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of divided attention on activity-based prospective memory. After establishing a goal to fulfill an intention upon completion of an ongoing activity, successful completion of the intention generally suffered when attention was being devoted to an additional task (Experiment 1). Forming an implementation intention at encoding ameliorated the negative effects of divided attention (Experiment 2). The results from the present experiments demonstrate that activity-based prospective memory is susceptible to distraction and that implementing encoding strategies that enhance prospective memory performance can reduce this interference. The current work raises interesting questions about the similarities and differences between event- and activity-based prospective memories.

  17. Troubleshooting Costs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kornacki, Jeffrey L.

    Seventy-six million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States alone. Medical and lost productivity costs of the most common pathogens are estimated to be 5.6-9.4 billion. Product recalls, whether from foodborne illness or spoilage, result in added costs to manufacturers in a variety of ways. These may include expenses associated with lawsuits from real or allegedly stricken individuals and lawsuits from shorted customers. Other costs include those associated with efforts involved in finding the source of the contamination and eliminating it and include time when lines are shut down and therefore non-productive, additional non-routine testing, consultant fees, time and personnel required to overhaul the entire food safety system, lost market share to competitors, and the cost associated with redesign of the factory and redesign or acquisition of more hygienic equipment. The cost associated with an effective quality assurance plan is well worth the effort to prevent the situations described.

  18. Activity-based restorative therapies: concepts and applications in spinal cord injury-related neurorehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Sadowsky, Cristina L; McDonald, John W

    2009-01-01

    Physical rehabilitation following spinal cord injury-related paralysis has traditionally focused on teaching compensatory techniques, thus enabling the individual to achieve day-to-day function despite significant neurological deficits. But the concept of an irreparable central nervous system (CNS) is slowly being replaced with evidence related to CNS plasticity, repair, and regeneration, all related to persistently maintaining appropriate levels of neurological activity both below and above the area where the damage occurred. It is now possible to envision functional repair of the nervous system by implementing rehabilitative interventions. Making the transition from "bench to bedside" requires careful analysis of existing basic science evidence, strategic focus of clinical research, and pragmatic implementation of new therapeutic tools. Activity, defined as both function specific motor task and exercise appears to be a necessity for optimization of functional, metabolic, and neurological status in chronic paralysis. Crafting a comprehensive rehabilitative intervention focused on functional improvement through neurological gains seems logical. The terms activity-based restorative therapies, activity-based therapies, and activity-based rehabilitation have been coined in the last 10 years to describe a new fundamental approach to deficits induced by neurological paralysis. The goal of this approach is to achieve activation of the neurological levels located both above and below the injury level using rehabilitation therapies. This article reviews basic and clinical science evidence pertaining to implementation of physical activity and exercise as a therapeutic tool in the management of chronic spinal cord-related neurological paralysis.

  19. Efficient Research Design: Using Value-of-Information Analysis to Estimate the Optimal Mix of Top-down and Bottom-up Costing Approaches in an Economic Evaluation alongside a Clinical Trial.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Edward C F; Mugford, Miranda; Barton, Garry; Shepstone, Lee

    2016-04-01

    In designing economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, analysts are frequently faced with alternative methods of collecting the same data, the extremes being top-down ("gross costing") and bottom-up ("micro-costing") approaches. A priori, bottom-up approaches may be considered superior to top-down approaches but are also more expensive to collect and analyze. In this article, we use value-of-information analysis to estimate the efficient mix of observations on each method in a proposed clinical trial. By assigning a prior bivariate distribution to the 2 data collection processes, the predicted posterior (i.e., preposterior) mean and variance of the superior process can be calculated from proposed samples using either process. This is then used to calculate the preposterior mean and variance of incremental net benefit and hence the expected net gain of sampling. We apply this method to a previously collected data set to estimate the value of conducting a further trial and identifying the optimal mix of observations on drug costs at 2 levels: by individual item (process A) and by drug class (process B). We find that substituting a number of observations on process A for process B leads to a modest £ 35,000 increase in expected net gain of sampling. Drivers of the results are the correlation between the 2 processes and their relative cost. This method has potential use following a pilot study to inform efficient data collection approaches for a subsequent full-scale trial. It provides a formal quantitative approach to inform trialists whether it is efficient to collect resource use data on all patients in a trial or on a subset of patients only or to collect limited data on most and detailed data on a subset.

  20. Integrating top-down and bottom-up approaches to design a cost-effective and equitable programme of measures for adaptation of a river basin to global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Corentin; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Adaptation to the multiple facets of global change challenges the conventional means of sustainably planning and managing water resources at the river basin scale. Numerous demand or supply management options are available, from which adaptation measures need to be selected in a context of high uncertainty of future conditions. Given the interdependency of water users, agreements need to be found at the local level to implement the most effective adaptation measures. Therefore, this work develops an approach combining economics and water resources engineering to select a cost-effective programme of adaptation measures in the context of climate change uncertainty, and to define an equitable allocation of the cost of the adaptation plan between the stakeholders involved. A framework is developed to integrate inputs from the two main approaches commonly used to plan for adaptation. The first, referred to as "top-down", consists of a modelling chain going from global greenhouse gases emission scenarios to local hydrological models used to assess the impact of climate change on water resources. Conversely, the second approach, called "bottom-up", starts from assessing vulnerability at the local level to then identify adaptation measures used to face an uncertain future. The methodological framework presented in this contribution relies on a combination of these two approaches to support the selection of adaptation measures at the local level. Outcomes from these two approaches are integrated to select a cost-effective combination of adaptation measures through a least-cost optimization model developed at the river basin scale. The performances of a programme of measures are assessed under different climate projections to identify cost-effective and least-regret adaptation measures. The issue of allocating the cost of the adaptation plan is considered through two complementary perspectives. The outcome of a negotiation process between the stakeholders is modelled through

  1. Giant cane (Arundo donax L.) can substitute traditional energy crops in producing energy by anaerobic digestion, reducing surface area and costs: A full-scale approach.

    PubMed

    Corno, Luca; Lonati, Samuele; Riva, Carlo; Pilu, Roberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2016-10-01

    Arundo donax L. (Giant cane) was used in a full-scale anaerobic digester (AD) plant (power of 380kWhEE) in partial substitution for corn to produce biogas and electricity. Corn substitution was made on a biomethane potential (BMP) basis so that A. donax L. after substitution accounted for 15.6% of the total mix-BMP (BMPmix) and corn for 66.6% BMPmix. Results obtained indicated that Giant cane was able to substitute for corn, reducing both biomass and electricity production costs, because of both higher biomass productivity (Mg total solid Ha(-1)) and lower biomass cost (€Ha(-1)). Total electricity biogas costs were reduced by 5.5%. The total biomass cost, the total surface area needed to produce the energy crop and the total cost of producing electricity can be reduced by 75.5%, 36.6% and 22%, by substituting corn completely with Giant cane in the mix fed to the full-scale plant.

  2. Activity Based Curriculum for Elementary Education. Additional Activities, K-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichita Public Schools, KS.

    This elementary curriculum is a vehicle to provide manipulative activities that reinforce academic skills through meaningful, relevant, activity-based awareness of modern society. The twenty-six activity plans included in the curriculum place a major emphasis upon realistic or concrete experiences that deal with the manipulation and exploration of…

  3. Measuring the social recreation per-day net benefit of the wildlife amenities of a national park: a count-data travel-cost approach.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Isabel; Proença, Isabel

    2011-11-01

    In this article, we apply count-data travel-cost methods to a truncated sample of visitors to estimate the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PGNP) average consumer surplus (CS) for each day of visit. The measurement of recreation demand is highly specific because it is calculated by number of days of stay per visit. We therefore propose the application of altered truncated count-data models or truncated count-data models on grouped data to estimate a single, on-site individual recreation demand function, with the price (cost) of each recreation day per trip equal to out-of-pocket and time travel plus out-of-pocket and on-site time costs. We further check the sensitivity of coefficient estimations to alternative models and analyse the welfare measure precision by using the delta and simulation methods by Creel and Loomis. With simulated limits, CS is estimated to be 194 (range 116 to 448). This information is of use in the quest to improve government policy and PNPG management and conservation as well as promote nature-based tourism. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to measure the average recreation net benefits of each day of stay generated by a national park by using truncated altered and truncated grouped count-data travel-cost models based on observing the individual number of days of stay.

  4. Estimating the cost of major ongoing cost plus hardware development programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bush, J. C.

    1990-01-01

    Approaches are developed for forecasting the cost of major hardware development programs while these programs are in the design and development C/D phase. Three approaches are developed: a schedule assessment technique for bottom-line summary cost estimation, a detailed cost estimation approach, and an intermediate cost element analysis procedure. The schedule assessment technique was developed using historical cost/schedule performance data.

  5. Benchmarking Non-Hardware Balance-of-System (Soft) Costs for U.S. Photovoltaic Systems Using a Bottom-Up Approach and Installer Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Ardani, Kristen; Margolis, Robert; Feldman, David; Ong, Sean; Barbose, Galen; Wiser, Ryan

    2012-11-01

    This report presents results from the first U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored, bottom-up data-collection and analysis of non-hardware balance-of-system costs—often referred to as “business process” or “soft” costs—for residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems. Annual expenditure and labor-hour-productivity data are analyzed to benchmark 2010 soft costs related to the DOE priority areas of (1) customer acquisition; (2) permitting, inspection, and interconnection; (3) installation labor; and (4) installer labor for arranging third-party financing. Annual expenditure and labor-hour data were collected from 87 PV installers. After eliminating outliers, the survey sample consists of 75 installers, representing approximately 13% of all residential PV installations and 4% of all commercial installations added in 2010. Including assumed permitting fees, in 2010 the average soft costs benchmarked in this analysis total $1.50/W for residential systems (ranging from $0.66/W to $1.66/W between the 20th and 80th percentiles). For commercial systems, the median 2010 benchmarked soft costs (including assumed permitting fees) are $0.99/W for systems smaller than 250 kW (ranging from $0.51/W to $1.45/W between the 20th and 80th percentiles) and $0.25/W for systems larger than 250 kW (ranging from $0.17/W to $0.78/W between the 20th and 80th percentiles). Additional soft costs not benchmarked in the present analysis (e.g., installer profit, overhead, financing, and contracting) are significant and would add to these figures. The survey results provide a benchmark for measuring—and helping to accelerate—progress over the next decade toward achieving the DOE SunShot Initiative’s soft-cost-reduction targets. We conclude that the selected non-hardware business processes add considerable cost to U.S. PV systems, constituting 23% of residential PV system price, 17% of small commercial system price, and 5% of large commercial system price (in 2010

  6. Cost assessment and ecological effectiveness of nutrient reduction options for mitigating Phaeocystis colony blooms in the Southern North Sea: an integrated modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Lancelot, Christiane; Thieu, Vincent; Polard, Audrey; Garnier, Josette; Billen, Gilles; Hecq, Walter; Gypens, Nathalie

    2011-05-01

    Nutrient reduction measures have been already taken by wealthier countries to decrease nutrient loads to coastal waters, in most cases however, prior to having properly assessed their ecological effectiveness and their economic costs. In this paper we describe an original integrated impact assessment methodology to estimate the direct cost and the ecological performance of realistic nutrient reduction options to be applied in the Southern North Sea watershed to decrease eutrophication, visible as Phaeocystis blooms and foam deposits on the beaches. The mathematical tool couples the idealized biogeochemical GIS-based model of the river system (SENEQUE-RIVERSTRAHLER) implemented in the Eastern Channel/Southern North Sea watershed to the biogeochemical MIRO model describing Phaeocystis blooms in the marine domain. Model simulations explore how nutrient reduction options regarding diffuse and/or point sources in the watershed would affect the Phaeocystis colony spreading in the coastal area. The reference and prospective simulations are performed for the year 2000 characterized by mean meteorological conditions, and nutrient reduction scenarios include and compare upgrading of wastewater treatment plants and changes in agricultural practices including an idealized shift towards organic farming. A direct cost assessment is performed for each realistic nutrient reduction scenario. Further the reduction obtained for Phaeocystis blooms is assessed by comparison with ecological indicators (bloom magnitude and duration) and the cost for reducing foam events on the beaches is estimated. Uncertainty brought by the added effect of meteorological conditions (rainfall) on coastal eutrophication is discussed. It is concluded that the reduction obtained by implementing realistic environmental measures on the short-term is costly and insufficient to restore well-balanced nutrient conditions in the coastal area while the replacement of conventional agriculture by organic farming

  7. Child Health Week in Zambia: costs, efficiency, coverage and a reassessment of need.

    PubMed

    Fiedler, John L; Mubanga, Freddie; Siamusantu, Ward; Musonda, Mofu; Kabwe, Kabaso F; Zulu, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Child Health Weeks (CHWs) are semi-annual, campaign-style, facility- and outreach-based events that provide a package of high-impact nutrition and health services to under-five children. Since 1999, 30% of the 85 countries that regularly implement campaign-style vitamin A supplementation programmes have transformed their programmes into CHW. Using data drawn from districts' budget, expenditures and salary documents, UNICEF's CHW planning and budgeting tool and a special purposive survey, an economic analysis of the June 2010 CHW's provision of measles, vitamin A and deworming was conducted using activity-based costing combined with an ingredients approach. Total CHW costs were estimated to be US$5.7 million per round. Measles accounted for 57%, deworming 22% and vitamin A 21% of total costs. The cost per child was US$0.46. The additional supplies and personnel required to include measles increased total costs by 42%, but reduced the average costs of providing vitamin A and deworming alone, manifesting economies of scope. The average costs of covering larger, more urban populations was less than the cost of covering smaller, more dispersed populations. Provincial-level costs per child served were determined primarily by the number of service sites, not the number of children treated. Reliance on volunteers to provide 60% of CHW manpower enables expanding coverage, shortening the duration of CHWs and reduces costs by one-third. With costs of $1093 per life saved and $45 per disability-adjusted life-year saved, WHO criteria classify Zambia's CHWs as 'very cost-effective'. The continued need for CHWs is discussed.

  8. Cost Recovery Through Depreciation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrester, Robert T.; Wesolowski, Leonard V.

    1983-01-01

    The approach of adopting depreciation rather than use allowance in order to recover more accurately the cost of college buildings and equipment used on federal projects is considered. It is suggested that depreciation will offer most colleges and universities a higher annual recovery rate, and an opportunity for better facilities planning. For…

  9. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flight Test Approval Process and Its Implications: A Methodological Approach to Capture and Evaluate Hidden Costs and Value in the Overall Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-22

    return.” – Leonardo da Vinci Historically, humans have approached flight test process and evaluation with scientific methods since the early...mythology’s Icarus’ wings to real scientific approaches like Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter. By the late 19th century, the race was on to build the

  10. Patterns of energy use, energy cost increases, and their impacts on crop production on the Big Island of Hawaii: a linear-programming approach

    SciTech Connect

    Koffi-Tessio, E.N.

    1982-01-01

    This study examines the interrelationship between the energy sector and the production of three agricultural crops (sugar, macadamia nut, and coffee) by small growers on the Big Island of Hawaii. Specifically, it attempts: to explore the patterns of energy use in agriculture; to determine the relative efficiency of fuel use by farm size among the three crops; and to investigate the impacts of higher energy costs on farmers' net revenues under three output-price and three energy-cost scenarios. To meet these objectives, a linear-programming model was developed. The objective function was to maximize net revenues subject to resource availability, production, marketing, and non-negativity constraints. The major conclusions emerging are: higher energy costs have not significantly impacted on farmers' net revenues, but do have a differential impact depending on the output price and resource endowments of each crop grower; farmers are faced with many constraints that do not permit factor substitution. For policy formulation, it was observed that policy makers are overly concerned with the problems facing growers at the macro level, without considering their constraints at the micro level. These micro factors play a dominant role in resource allocation. They must, therefore, be incorporated into a comprehensive energy and agricultural policy at the county and state level.

  11. Activity-based profiling of the proteasome pathway during hepatitis C virus infection.

    PubMed

    Nasheri, Neda; Ning, Zhibin; Figeys, Daniel; Yao, Shao; Goto, Natalie K; Pezacki, John Paul

    2015-11-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often leads to chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The stability of the HCV proteins is controlled by ubiquitin-dependent and ubiquitin-independent proteasome pathways. Many viruses modulate proteasome function for their propagation. To examine the interrelationship between HCV and the proteasome pathways we employed a quantitative activity-based protein profiling method. Using this approach we were able to quantify the changes in the activity of several proteasome subunits and found that proteasome activity is drastically reduced by HCV replication. The results imply a link between the direct downregulation of the activity of this pathway and chronic HCV infection.

  12. Achieving health, safety, and performance improvements through enhanced cost visibility and workplace partnerships.

    PubMed

    Grant, Katharyn A; Garland, John G; Joachim, Todd C; Wallen, Andrew; Vital, Twyla

    2003-01-01

    Reduction in the environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) component of operational costs requires not only a better understanding of ESOH costs and requirements, but also the formation of effective partnerships between ESOH professionals, financial analysts, and shop workers to identify viable improvements to current practices. This article presents two case studies of efforts to enhance productivity and ESOH in corrosion control facilities at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Robins AFB, Ga. At each site, activity-based cost models were created to increase the visibility of ESOH-related costs and target improvement opportunities. Analysis of the strip-and-paint processes for the T-38 aircraft at Randolph and the F-15 radome and C-141 aft cowl at Robins revealed that a large proportion of operating costs were tied to ESOH requirements and practices (22 and 39%, respectively). In each case ESOH professionals teamed with shop personnel to identify potential improvements in personal protective equipment use, waste disposal, tool selection, and work methods. This approach yielded alternatives projected to reduce total shop costs by 5 to 7%. This case study demonstrates how workplaces can identify cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing practices by partnering with ESOH professionals in planning and decision-making activities.

  13. Computer-Based Approach to the Navy’s Academic Remedial Training, Project PREST (Performance-Related Enabling Skills Training): A Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-05-01

    multiplying deviation scores by the test -form reliability ( Kuder - Richardson 20), and then converting back to raw scores. 7 _______ . . .. -o o•. . o... Education and Training (N-5) &contracted for the development and test of a computer-based approach, hereafter referred to as the Performance-related Enabling...RESOLUTION TEST CHART NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS-1963-A .. . . . .. - . . . . . . NPROC SR 81-18 MAY 1981 COMPUTER-BASED APPROACH TO THE NAVY’S ACADEMIC

  14. Cost Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foreman, Phillip

    2009-01-01

    Education administrators involved in construction initiatives unanimously agree that when it comes to change orders, less is more. Change orders have a negative rippling effect of driving up building costs and producing expensive project delays that often interfere with school operations and schedules. Some change orders are initiated by schools…

  15. Jail Removal Cost Study. Volume 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Univ., Champaign. Community Research Center.

    This second volume of the jail removal cost study provides a detailed report of the study findings which examine the costs, experiences, and ramifications of removing children from adult jails and lockups. The foreword supplies background information and hypothetical removal cost estimates. The approach used to conduct the jail removal cost study…

  16. Stanford SsTO Mission to Mars: A Realistic, Safe and Cost Effective Approach to Human Mars Exploration Using the Stanford SsTO Launch System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, Robert D.

    1999-06-01

    In recent years, a lot of time and energy has been spent exploring possible mission scenarios for a human mission to Mars. NASA along with the privately funded Mars Society and a number of universities have come up with many options that could place people on the surface of Mars in a relatively short period of time at a relatively low cost. However, a common theme among all or at least most of these missions is that they require heavy lift vehicles such as the Russian Energia or the NASA proposed Magnum 100MT class vehicle to transport large payloads from the surface of Earth into a staging orbit about Earth. However, there is no current budget or any signs for a future budget to review the Russian Energia, the US made Saturn V, or to design and build a new heavy lift vehicle. However, there is a lot of interest and many companies looking into the possibility of "space planes". These vehicles will have the capability to place a payload into orbit without throwing any parts of the vehicle away. The concept of a space plane is basically that the plane is transported to a given altitude either by it's own power or on the back of another air worthy vehicle before the rocket engines are ignited. From this altitude, a Single Step to Orbit (SsTO) vehicle with a significant payload is possible. This report looks at the possibility of removing the requirement of a heavy lift vehicle by using the Stanford designed Single Step to Orbit.(SsTO) Launch Vehicle. The SsTO would eliminate the need for heavy lift vehicles and actually reduce the cost of the mission because of the very low costs involved with each SSTO launch. Although this scenario may add a small amount of risk assembling transfer vehicles in Earth orbit, it should add no additional risk to the crew.

  17. Linear Approach for Initial Recovery of the Exterior Orientation Parameters of Randomly Captured Images by Low-Cost Mobile Mapping Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, F.; Habib, A.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper, we present a novel linear approach for the initial recovery of the exterior orientation parameters (EOPs) of images. Similar to the conventional Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithm, the proposed approach is based on a two-step strategy. In the first step, the relative orientation of all possible image stereo-pairs is estimated. In the second step, a local coordinate frame is established, and an incremental image augmentation process is implemented to reference all the remaining images into a local coordinate frame. Since our approach is based on a linear solution for both the relative orientation estimation as well as the initial recovery of the image EOPs, it does not require any initial approximation for the optimization process. Another advantage of our approach is that it does not require any prior knowledge regarding the sequence of the image collection procedure, therefore, it can handle a set of randomly collected images in the absence of GNSS/INS information. In order to illustrate the feasibility of our approach, several experimental tests are conducted on real datasets captured in either a block or linear trajectory configuration. The results demonstrate that the initial image EOPs obtained are accurate and can serve as a good initialization for an additional bundle adjustment process.

  18. Forage Harvest and Transport Costs

    SciTech Connect

    Butler, J.; Downing, M.; Turhollow, A.

    1998-12-01

    An engineering-economic approach is used to calculate harvest, in-field transport, and over-the-road transport costs for hay as bales and modules, silage, and crop residues as bales and modules. Costs included are equipment depreciation interest; fuel, lube, and oil; repairs; insurance, housing, and taxes; and labor. Field preparation, pest control, fertilizer, land, and overhead are excluded from the costs calculated Equipment is constrained by power available, throughput or carrying capacity, and field speed.

  19. Multi-objective Mixed Integer Programming approach for facility layout design by considering closeness ratings, material handling, and re-layout cost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purnomo, Muhammad Ridwan Andi; Satrio Wiwoho, Yoga

    2016-01-01

    Facility layout becomes one of production system factor that should be managed well, as it is designated for the location of production. In managing the layout, designing the layout by considering the optimal layout condition that supports the work condition is essential. One of the method for facility layout optimization is Mixed Integer Programming (MIP). In this study, the MIP is solved using Lingo 9.0 software and considering quantitative and qualitative objectives to be achieved simultaneously: minimizing material handling cost, maximizing closeness rating, and minimizing re-layout cost. The research took place in Rekayasa Wangdi as a make to order company, focusing on the making of concrete brick dough stirring machine with 10 departments involved. The result shows an improvement in the new layout for 333,72 points of objective value compared with the initial layout. As the conclusion, the proposed MIP is proven to be used to model facility layout problem under multi objective consideration for a more realistic look.

  20. Setting Up the Next Generation Biofeedback Program for Stress and Anxiety Management for College Students: A Simple and Cost-Effective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ratanasiripong, Paul; Sverduk, Kevin; Hayashino, Diane; Prince, Judy

    2010-01-01

    The increasing prevalence of stress and anxiety on college campuses along with limited resources and budget reductions for many campuses has prompted the need for innovative approaches to help students effectively manage their stress and anxiety. With college students becoming more and more technology-savvy, the authors present an innovative…

  1. alpha-MSH enhances activity-based anorexia.

    PubMed

    Hillebrand, Jacquelien J G; Kas, Martien J H; Adan, Roger A H

    2005-10-01

    Activity-based anorexia (ABA) is considered an animal model of anorexia nervosa (AN). In ABA, scheduled feeding in combination with voluntary access to running wheels, results in hyperactivity, hypophagia, body weight loss and activation of the HPA axis. Since stimulation of the melanocortin (MC) system has similar effects, this system is a candidate system involved in ABA. Here it is shown that chronic alpha-MSH treatment enhances ABA by increasing running wheel activity (RWA), decreasing food intake and increasing HPA axis activation.

  2. Low-cost approach for a software-defined radio based ground station receiver for CCSDS standard compliant S-band satellite communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boettcher, M. A.; Butt, B. M.; Klinkner, S.

    2016-10-01

    A major concern of a university satellite mission is to download the payload and the telemetry data from a satellite. While the ground station antennas are in general easy and with limited afford to procure, the receiving unit is most certainly not. The flexible and low-cost software-defined radio (SDR) transceiver "BladeRF" is used to receive the QPSK modulated and CCSDS compliant coded data of a satellite in the HAM radio S-band. The control software is based on the Open Source program GNU Radio, which also is used to perform CCSDS post processing of the binary bit stream. The test results show a good performance of the receiving system.

  3. Rice husk based porous carbon loaded with silver nanoparticles by a simple and cost-effective approach and their antibacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianghu; Yang, Yunhua; Hu, Yonghui; Li, Fangbai

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, we chose rice husk as raw material and synthesized successfully porous carbon loaded with silver nanoparticles (RH-Ag) composites by simple and cost-effective method. The as-prepared RH-Ag composites have a BET-specific surface area of 1996 m(2) g(-1) and result in strong capacity of bacteria adsorption. The result of antibacterial study indicated that the RH-Ag system displayed antibacterial activity that was two times better than pure Ag NPs. Our study demonstrates that the antibacterial activity of RH-Ag composites may be attributed to their strong adsorption ability with bacteria and result in the disorganization of the bacterial membrane ultrastructure. In addition, RH-Ag system was found to be durative slow-releasing of silver ions and biocompatible for human skin keratinocytes cells. In terms of these advantages, the RH-Ag composites have potential application in antibacterial infections and therapy.

  4. Green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using palm oil mill effluent (POME): a low-cost and eco-friendly viable approach.

    PubMed

    Gan, Pei Pei; Ng, Shi Han; Huang, Yan; Li, Sam Fong Yau

    2012-06-01

    The present study reports the synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNps) from gold precursor using palm oil mill effluent (POME) without adding external surfactant, capping agent or template. The biosynthesized AuNps were characterized by using UV-vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). According to the image analysis performed on a representative TEM micrograph by counting 258 particles, the obtained AuNps are predominantly spherical with an average size of 18.75 ± 5.96 nm. In addition, some triangular and hexagonal nanoparticles were also observed. The influence of various reaction parameters such as reaction pH, concentration of gold precursor and interaction time to the morphology and size of biosynthesized AuNps was investigated. This study shows the feasibility of using agro waste material for the biosynthesis of AuNps which is potentially more scalable and economic due to its lower cost.

  5. The costs of schizophrenia in Spain.

    PubMed

    Oliva-Moreno, Juan; López-Bastida, Julio; Osuna-Guerrero, Rubén; Montejo-González, Angel Luis; Duque-González, Beatriz

    2006-09-01

    This study estimated the economic impact of schizophrenia-related direct costs (medical and nonmedical costs) in Spain. Direct medical costs (hospitalizations, outpatient consultations, drug costs) and direct nonmedical costs (costs of informal care) were estimated based on prevalence costs for 2002. The total costs of schizophrenia were estimated at euro 1,970.8 million; direct medical costs accounted for 53% and informal care costs 47%. Despite having implemented a conservative approach, the health care costs associated with schizophrenia account for 2.7% of total public health care expenditure in Spain. The sum of medical and nonmedical costs give us a better definition of the magnitude of the problem in Spain as well as contributing to helping make the debate on this issue more transparent.

  6. Advancing understanding of microbial bioenergy conversion processes by activity-based protein profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yun; Fredrickson, James K.; Sadler, Natalie C.; Nandhikonda, Premchendar; Smith, Richard D.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2015-09-25

    Here, the development of renewable biofuels is a global priority, but success will require novel technologies that greatly improve our understanding of microbial systems biology. An approach with great promise in enabling functional characterization of microbes is activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), which employs chemical probes to directly measure enzyme function in discrete enzyme classes in vivo and/or in vitro, thereby facilitating the rapid discovery of new biocatalysts and enabling much improved biofuel production platforms. We review general design strategies in ABPP, and highlight recent advances that are or could be pivotal to biofuels processes including applications of ABPP to cellulosic bioethanol, biodiesel, and phototrophic production of hydrocarbons. We also examine the key challenges and opportunities of ABPP in renewable biofuels research. The integration of ABPP with molecular and systems biology approaches will shed new insight on the catalytic and regulatory mechanisms of functional enzymes and their synergistic effects in the field of biofuels production.

  7. The impact of healthcare reform on hospital costing systems.

    PubMed

    Selivanoff, Paul

    2011-05-01

    Hospitals should consider five approaches to costing over the next three years as they prepare for reform: Moving from a strategic to an operational cost-finding model. Adopting job costing over standards costing whenever possible. Reviewing working classifications of cost with managers and administrators. Evaluating current cost bucketing definitions and reviewing the expenses assigned to these buckets. Increasing the use of microcosting.

  8. Costs of predicting IDDM.

    PubMed

    Hahl, J; Simell, T; Ilonen, J; Knip, M; Simell, O

    1998-01-01

    Programmes aiming at prediction and prevention of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), a multifactorial autoimmune disease, have been launched or are in the planning phase in several countries. We hypothesized that the costs of finding the correct target subjects for preventive interventions are likely to vary markedly according to the prediction strategy chosen. Average direct costs accruing in the Finnish IDDM Prediction and Prevention Project (DIPP) were analysed from the health care provider's viewpoint. The genetically targeted strategy included costs of assessing genetic IDDM susceptibility followed by measurement of marker(s) of islet autoimmunity in the susceptibility restricted population at 3 to 6-month intervals. In the pure immunological strategy markers of autoimmunity were repeatedly analysed in the entire population. The data were finally exposed to sensitivity analysis. The genetically targeted prediction strategy is cost-saving in the first year if autoimmune markers are analysed as frequently as under the DIPP project, and in all circumstances later. The 10-year direct costs per child are US$ 245 (present value $ 217, 5% discount rate) if the genetically targeted approach is used and $ 733 (present value $ 619) if the pure immunological strategy is chosen. In sensitivity analysis the 10-year costs (present value) per child of the genetically targeted strategy and of the pure immunological strategy varied from $ 152 to $ 241 and from $ 430 to $ 788, respectively. The genetically targeted IDDM prediction strategy is remarkably cost-saving as compared with the pure immunological strategy mainly because fewer subjects will need retesting during the follow-up.

  9. Proposed reliability cost model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delionback, L. M.

    1973-01-01

    The research investigations which were involved in the study include: cost analysis/allocation, reliability and product assurance, forecasting methodology, systems analysis, and model-building. This is a classic example of an interdisciplinary problem, since the model-building requirements include the need for understanding and communication between technical disciplines on one hand, and the financial/accounting skill categories on the other. The systems approach is utilized within this context to establish a clearer and more objective relationship between reliability assurance and the subcategories (or subelements) that provide, or reenforce, the reliability assurance for a system. Subcategories are further subdivided as illustrated by a tree diagram. The reliability assurance elements can be seen to be potential alternative strategies, or approaches, depending on the specific goals/objectives of the trade studies. The scope was limited to the establishment of a proposed reliability cost-model format. The model format/approach is dependent upon the use of a series of subsystem-oriented CER's and sometimes possible CTR's, in devising a suitable cost-effective policy.

  10. What Is Required to End the AIDS Epidemic as a Public Health Threat by 2030? The Cost and Impact of the Fast-Track Approach

    PubMed Central

    Stover, John; Bollinger, Lori; Izazola, Jose Antonio; Loures, Luiz; DeLay, Paul; Ghys, Peter D.

    2016-01-01

    In 2011 a new Investment Framework was proposed that described how the scale-up of key HIV interventions could dramatically reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in low and middle income countries by 2015. This framework included ambitious coverage goals for prevention and treatment services for 2015, resulting in a reduction of new HIV infections by more than half, in line with the goals of the declaration of the UN High Level Meeting in June 2011. However, the approach suggested a leveling in the number of new infections at about 1 million annually—far from the UNAIDS goal of ending AIDS by 2030. In response, UNAIDS has developed the Fast-Track approach that is intended to provide a roadmap to the actions required to achieve this goal. The Fast-Track approach is predicated on a rapid scale-up of focused, effective prevention and treatment services over the next 5 years and then maintaining a high level of programme implementation until 2030. Fast-Track aims to reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths by 90% from 2010 to 2030 and proposes a set of biomedical, behavioral and enabling intervention targets for 2020 and 2030 to achieve that goal, including the rapid scale-up initiative for antiretroviral treatment known as 90-90-90. Compared to a counterfactual scenario of constant coverage for all services at early-2015 levels, the Fast-Track approach would avert 18 million HIV infections and 11 million deaths from 2016 to 2030 globally. This paper describes the analysis that produced these targets and the estimated resources needed to achieve them in low- and middle-income countries. It indicates that it is possible to achieve these goals with a significant push to achieve rapid scale-up of key interventions between now and 2020. The annual resources required from all sources would rise to US$7.4Bn in low-income countries, US$8.2Bn in lower middle-income countries and US$10.5Bn in upper-middle-income-countries by 2020 before declining

  11. Cost Sensitive Moving Target Consensus

    SciTech Connect

    Duan, Sisi; Li, Yun; Levitt, Karl N.

    2016-01-01

    Consensus is a fundamental approach to implementing fault-tolerant services through replication where there exists a tradeoff between the cost and the resilience. For instance, Crash Fault Tolerant (CFT) protocols have a low cost but can only handle crash failures while Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) protocols handle arbitrary failures but have a higher cost. Hybrid protocols enjoy the benefits of both high performance without failures and high resiliency under failures by switching among different subprotocols. However, it is challenging to determine which subprotocols should be used. We propose a moving target approach to switch among protocols according to the existing system and network vulnerability. At the core of our approach is a formalized cost model that evaluates the vulnerability and performance of consensus protocols based on real-time Intrusion Detection System (IDS) signals. Based on the evaluation results, we demonstrate that a safe, cheap, and unpredictable protocol is always used and a high IDS error rate can be tolerated.

  12. The effect of activity-based financing on hospital length of stay for elderly patients suffering from heart diseases in Norway

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Whether activity-based financing of hospitals creates incentives to treat more patients and to reduce the length of each hospital stay is an empirical question that needs investigation. This paper examines how the level of the activity-based component in the financing system of Norwegian hospitals influences the average length of hospital stays for elderly patients suffering from ischemic heart diseases. During the study period, the activity-based component changed several times due to political decisions at the national level. Methods The repeated cross-section data were extracted from the Norwegian Patient Register in the period from 2000 to 2007, and included patients with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction. Data were analysed with a log-linear regression model at the individual level. Results The results show a significant, negative association between the level of activity-based financing and length of hospital stays for elderly patients who were suffering from ischemic heart diseases. The effect is small, but an increase of 10 percentage points in the activity-based component reduced the average length of each hospital stay by 1.28%. Conclusions In a combined financing system such as the one prevailing in Norway, hospitals appear to respond to economic incentives, but the effect of their responses on inpatient cost is relatively meagre. Our results indicate that hospitals still need to discuss guidelines for reducing hospitalisation costs and for increasing hospital activity in terms of number of patients and efficiency. PMID:23651910

  13. In Japan, all-payer rate setting under tight government control has proved to be an effective approach to containing costs.

    PubMed

    Ikegami, Naoki; Anderson, Gerard F

    2012-05-01

    In Japan's health insurance system, the prices paid by multiple payers for nearly all health care goods and services are codified into a single fee schedule and are individually revised within the global rate set by the government. This single payment system has allowed total health care spending to be controlled despite a fee-for-service system with its incentives for increased volume of services; Japan's growing elderly population; and the regular introduction of new technologies and therapies. This article describes aspects of Japan's approach, as well as how that nation has expanded payment for inpatient hospital care based on case-mix. The result of the payment system is that Japan's rate of health spending growth has been well below that of other industrial nations. The percentage of gross domestic product spent on health increased from 7.7 percent in 2000 to 8.5 percent in 2008, compared to an increase from 13.7 percent to 16.4 percent in the United States. Japan's approach confirms that enlightened government regulation can maintain access to care, avoid rationing, make use of the latest technology, and allow for multiple insurance plans and an aging population--all while restraining the growth of health care spending.

  14. Costs of providing infusion therapy for patients with inflammatory bowel disease in a hospital-based infusion center setting.

    PubMed

    Afzali, Anita; Ogden, Kristine; Friedman, Michael L; Chao, Jingdong; Wang, Anthony

    2017-01-23

    Aims Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (e.g., ulcerative colitis [UC] and Crohn's disease [CD]) severely impacts patient quality of life. Moderate to severe disease is often treated with biologics requiring infusion therapy, adding incremental costs beyond drug costs. This study evaluates US hospital-based infusion services costs for treatment of UC or CD patients receiving infliximab or vedolizumab therapy. Materials and methods A model was developed, estimating annual costs of providing monitored infusions using activity-based costing framework approach. Multiple sources (published literature, treatment product inserts) informed base-case model input estimates. Results The total modeled per patient infusion therapy costs in Year 1 with infliximab and vedolizumab was $38,782 and $41,320, respectively, and Year 2+, $49,897 and $36,197, respectively. Drug acquisition cost was the largest total costs driver (90-93%), followed by costs associated with hospital-based infusion provision: labor (53-56%, non-drug costs), allocated overhead (23%, non-drug costs), non-labor (23%, non-drug costs), and laboratory (7-10%, non-drug costs). Limitations Limitations included reliance on published estimates, base-case cost estimates infusion drug and supplies not accounting for volume pricing, assumption of a small hospital infusion center, and that given the model adopts the hospital perspective, costs to the patient were not included in infusion administration cost base-case estimates. Conclusions This model is an early step towards a framework to fully analyze infusion therapies' associated costs. Given the lack of published data, it would be beneficial for hospital administrators to assess total costs and trade-offs with alternative means of providing biologic therapies. This analysis highlights the value to hospital administrators of assessing cost associated with infusion patient mix to make more informed resource allocation decisions. As the landscape for reimbursement

  15. [The cost of severe dementia].

    PubMed

    Joël, Marie-Eve

    2005-03-01

    The aim of the present article is to analyse the methodological difficulties to assess the economic cost of severe dementia from the available data, and the shortcomings of an exclusively economic approach. It is very difficult to provide a reliable account of the cost of severe dementia, when ignoring the initial assessment of the severity and the socio-economic context of the care given to demented persons. When assessing the cost of severe dementia, one needs to know who are the affected individuals, and what medical care they are given - whether at home or inside an institution. While the direct cost can be easily assessed, the indirect cost is more difficult to calculate, and particularly the productivity loss for the caring persons, when they are in occupational activity. Setting up reliable indicators for the cost of dementia is a long process, which needs a clear definition of the target population of the measurement.

  16. Effect of auditory isolation on activity-based anorexia.

    PubMed

    Fraga, Ángela; De Pedro, Belén; Cerrato, María; Carrera, Olaia; Gutiérrez, Emilio

    2012-01-01

    The objective was to study male and female rats exposed to Activity-Based Anorexia (ABA; simultaneous exposition to food restriction and free access to an activity wheel) under two conditions of sound attenuation, by means of different arrangements of wheels (standard versus isolation) in the laboratory room. Regardless of the sound attenuation condition, all but one male and one female with access to wheels had to be removed from the experiment, but extended ABA endurance was found in rats in the sound attenuation condition. Furthermore, significantly lower levels of running were observed in both males and females under the sound attenuation arrangement in the isolation condition. The results suggest that external stimulation plays a role in the activity displayed by rats exposed to ABA, and that the reduction of external stimulation diminishes running but does not protect rats from developing ABA.

  17. Making activity-based funding work for mental health.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Sebastian P; Hickie, Ian B

    2013-06-01

    The implementation of activity-based funding (ABF) in mental health from 1 July 2013 has significant risks and benefits. It is critical that the process of implementation is consistent with Australia's cherished goal of establishing a genuine and effective model of community-based mental health care. The infrastructure to support the application of ABF to mental health is currently weak and requires considerable development. States and territories are struggling to meet existing demand for largely hospital-based acute mental health care. There is a risk that valuable ABF-driven Commonwealth growth funds may be used to prop up these systems rather than drive the emergence of new models of community-based care. Some of these new models exist now and this article provides a short description. The aim is to help the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority better understand the landscape of mental health into which it now seeks to deploy ABF.

  18. Estimating nursing costs--a methodological review.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Bea

    2009-05-01

    A critical cost accounting issue relating to nursing costs is that nursing costs are currently averaged into the daily room rate in the hospitals. This accounting practice treats nursing units as cost centers as nursing costs are bundled into a per diem rate instead of billed separately. As a result, all patients in a given care unit of the hospital are presumed to consume the same amount of nursing care resources. This costing and billing system creates a mismatch between resources consumption and billed charges. The objective of this paper is to (1) demonstrate current practice to estimate nursing costs, (2) classify nursing costs into direct and indirect costs in order to refine the existing approaches and (3) argue that a system of billing nursing costs separately better reflects the costs of patient care.

  19. Substrate-Competitive Activity-Based Profiling of Ester Prodrug Activating Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hao; Majmudar, Jaimeen D; Davda, Dahvid; Ghanakota, Phani; Kim, Ki H; Carlson, Heather A; Showalter, Hollis D; Martin, Brent R; Amidon, Gordon L

    2015-09-08

    Understanding the mechanistic basis of prodrug delivery and activation is critical for establishing species-specific prodrug sensitivities necessary for evaluating preclinical animal models and potential drug-drug interactions. Despite significant adoption of prodrug methodologies for enhanced pharmacokinetics, functional annotation of prodrug activating enzymes is laborious and often unaddressed. Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) describes an emerging chemoproteomic approach to assay active site occupancy within a mechanistically similar enzyme class in native proteomes. The serine hydrolase enzyme family is broadly reactive with reporter-linked fluorophosphonates, which have shown to provide a mechanism-based covalent labeling strategy to assay the activation state and active site occupancy of cellular serine amidases, esterases, and thioesterases. Here we describe a modified ABPP approach using direct substrate competition to identify activating enzymes for an ethyl ester prodrug, the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir. Substrate-competitive ABPP analysis identified carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) as an oseltamivir-activating enzyme in intestinal cell homogenates. Saturating concentrations of oseltamivir lead to a four-fold reduction in the observed rate constant for CES1 inactivation by fluorophosphonates. WWL50, a reported carbamate inhibitor of mouse CES1, blocked oseltamivir hydrolysis activity in human cell homogenates, confirming CES1 is the primary prodrug activating enzyme for oseltamivir in human liver and intestinal cell lines. The related carbamate inhibitor WWL79 inhibited mouse but not human CES1, providing a series of probes for analyzing prodrug activation mechanisms in different preclinical models. Overall, we present a substrate-competitive activity-based profiling approach for broadly surveying candidate prodrug hydrolyzing enzymes and outline the kinetic parameters for activating enzyme discovery, ester prodrug design, and

  20. Launch Vehicle Production and Operations Cost Metrics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Michael D.; Neeley, James R.; Blackburn, Ruby F.

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally, launch vehicle cost has been evaluated based on $/Kg to orbit. This metric is calculated based on assumptions not typically met by a specific mission. These assumptions include the specified orbit whether Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), or both. The metric also assumes the payload utilizes the full lift mass of the launch vehicle, which is rarely true even with secondary payloads.1,2,3 Other approaches for cost metrics have been evaluated including unit cost of the launch vehicle and an approach to consider the full program production and operations costs.4 Unit cost considers the variable cost of the vehicle and the definition of variable costs are discussed. The full program production and operation costs include both the variable costs and the manufacturing base. This metric also distinguishes operations costs from production costs, including pre-flight operational testing. Operations costs also consider the costs of flight operations, including control center operation and maintenance. Each of these 3 cost metrics show different sensitivities to various aspects of launch vehicle cost drivers. The comparison of these metrics provides the strengths and weaknesses of each yielding an assessment useful for cost metric selection for launch vehicle programs.

  1. CLINICAL SURFACES - Activity-Based Computing for Distributed Multi-Display Environments in Hospitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardram, Jakob E.; Bunde-Pedersen, Jonathan; Doryab, Afsaneh; Sørensen, Steffen

    A multi-display environment (MDE) is made up of co-located and networked personal and public devices that form an integrated workspace enabling co-located group work. Traditionally, MDEs have, however, mainly been designed to support a single “smart room”, and have had little sense of the tasks and activities that the MDE is being used for. This paper presents a novel approach to support activity-based computing in distributed MDEs, where displays are physically distributed across a large building. CLINICAL SURFACES was designed for clinical work in hospitals, and enables context-sensitive retrieval and browsing of patient data on public displays. We present the design and implementation of CLINICAL SURFACES, and report from an evaluation of the system at a large hospital. The evaluation shows that using distributed public displays to support activity-based computing inside a hospital is very useful for clinical work, and that the apparent contradiction between maintaining privacy of medical data in a public display environment can be mitigated by the use of CLINICAL SURFACES.

  2. Activity-Based Protein Profiling Reveals Broad Reactivity of the Nerve Agent Sarin.

    PubMed

    Tuin, Adriaan W; Mol, Marijke A E; van den Berg, Roland M; Fidder, A; van der Marel, Gijs A; Overkleeft, Herman S; Noort, Daan

    2009-04-01

    Elucidation of noncholinesterase protein targets of organophosphates, and nerve agents in particular, may reveal additional mechanisms for their high toxicity as well as clues for novel therapeutic approaches toward intoxications with these agents. Within this framework, we here describe the synthesis of the activity-based probe 3, which contains a phosphonofluoridate moiety, a P-Me moiety, and a biotinylated O-alkyl group, and its use in activity-based protein profiling with two relevant biological samples, that is, rhesus monkey liver and cultured human A549 lung cells. In this way, we have unearthed eight serine hydrolases (fatty acid synthase, acylpeptide hydrolase, dipeptidyl peptidase 9, prolyl oligopeptidase, carboxylesterase, long-chain acyl coenzyme A thioesterase, PAF acetylhydrolase 1b, and esterase D/S-formyl glutathione hydrolase) as targets that are modified by the nerve agent sarin. It is also shown that the newly developed probe 3 might find its way into the development of alternative, less laborious purification protocols for human butyrylcholinesterase, a potent bioscavenger currently under clinical investigation as a prophylactic/therapeutic for nerve agent intoxications.

  3. Underestimation of Project Costs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Harry W.

    2015-01-01

    Large projects almost always exceed their budgets. Estimating cost is difficult and estimated costs are usually too low. Three different reasons are suggested: bad luck, overoptimism, and deliberate underestimation. Project management can usually point to project difficulty and complexity, technical uncertainty, stakeholder conflicts, scope changes, unforeseen events, and other not really unpredictable bad luck. Project planning is usually over-optimistic, so the likelihood and impact of bad luck is systematically underestimated. Project plans reflect optimism and hope for success in a supposedly unique new effort rather than rational expectations based on historical data. Past project problems are claimed to be irrelevant because "This time it's different." Some bad luck is inevitable and reasonable optimism is understandable, but deliberate deception must be condemned. In a competitive environment, project planners and advocates often deliberately underestimate costs to help gain project approval and funding. Project benefits, cost savings, and probability of success are exaggerated and key risks ignored. Project advocates have incentives to distort information and conceal difficulties from project approvers. One naively suggested cure is more openness, honesty, and group adherence to shared overall goals. A more realistic alternative is threatening overrun projects with cancellation. Neither approach seems to solve the problem. A better method to avoid the delusions of over-optimism and the deceptions of biased advocacy is to base the project cost estimate on the actual costs of a large group of similar projects. Over optimism and deception can continue beyond the planning phase and into project execution. Hard milestones based on verified tests and demonstrations can provide a reality check.

  4. Determination of VA health care costs.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Paul G

    2003-09-01

    In the absence of billing data, alternative methods are used to estimate the cost of hospital stays, outpatient visits, and treatment innovations in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The choice of method represents a trade-off between accuracy and research cost. The direct measurement method gathers information on staff activities, supplies, equipment, space, and workload. Since it is expensive, direct measurement should be reserved for finding short-run costs, evaluating provider efficiency, or determining the cost of treatments that are innovative or unique to VA. The pseudo-bill method combines utilization data with a non-VA reimbursement schedule. The cost regression method estimates the cost of VA hospital stays by applying the relationship between cost and characteristics of non-VA hospitalizations. The Health Economics Resource Center uses pseudo-bill and cost regression methods to create an encounter-level database of VA costs. Researchers are also beginning to use the VA activity-based cost allocation system.

  5. The use of low glycemic and high satiety index food dishes in Mexico: a low cost approach to prevent and control obesity and diabetes.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Cruz, A; Manuel Loustaunau-López, V; Bacardi-Gascón, M

    2006-01-01

    Obesity and diabetes are epidemics in Mexico and the prevalence is currently highest among the low-income population. The aim of the present study was to compare the action of different breakfasts on satiety and subsequent food intake among healthy women. Eight healthy women participated in the study. Participants were given four experimental breakfasts. Visual analogue rating scales were completed before and every 30 minutes for 3 hours after each experimental meal to record subjective feelings of satiety. Subjects were exposed to an ad libitum buffet 3 h after the experimental breakfast. Energy and macronutrient intakes were calculated at each meal. Mean +/- SD SAUC for white bread was 355 +/- 60, for rice and bananas: 405 +/- 108, for whole wheat bread and boiled beans: 446 +/- 83, and for fruit salad: 585 +/- 79 (Table II). Statistical differences were observed among the four experimental meals (p = 0,002). After the consumption of white bread, energy intake was the highest with 872 +/- 58 kcal, and after the consumption of fruit salad the intake of calories was the lowest: 461 +/- 51 kcal. Energy intake 4 h after each breakfast shows statistical differences (p = 0,0001). These results suggest the need to promote culturally based combined foods with high fiber and low GI, as well as foods with high volume and water content. This approach might contribute to the prevention of obesity by increasing satiety and reducing food consumption and energy intake.

  6. Greater accordance with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension dietary pattern is associated with lower diet-related greenhouse gas production but higher dietary costs in the United Kingdom12

    PubMed Central

    Monsivais, Pablo; Scarborough, Peter; Lloyd, Tina; Mizdrak, Anja; Luben, Robert; Mulligan, Angela A; Wareham, Nicholas J; Woodcock, James

    2015-01-01

    Background: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is a proven way to prevent and control hypertension and other chronic disease. Because the DASH diet emphasizes plant-based foods, including vegetables and grains, adhering to this diet might also bring about environmental benefits, including lower associated production of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Objective: The objective was to examine the interrelation between dietary accordance with the DASH diet and associated GHGs. A secondary aim was to examine the retail cost of diets by level of DASH accordance. Design: In this cross-sectional study of adults aged 39–79 y from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Norfolk, United Kingdom cohort (n = 24,293), dietary intakes estimated from food-frequency questionnaires were analyzed for their accordance with the 8 DASH food and nutrient-based targets. Associations between DASH accordance, GHGs, and dietary costs were evaluated in regression analyses. Dietary GHGs were estimated with United Kingdom-specific data on carbon dioxide equivalents associated with commodities and foods. Dietary costs were estimated by using national food prices from a United Kingdom–based supermarket comparison website. Results: Greater accordance with the DASH dietary targets was associated with lower GHGs. Diets in the highest quintile of accordance had a GHG impact of 5.60 compared with 6.71 kg carbon dioxide equivalents/d for least-accordant diets (P < 0.0001). Among the DASH food groups, GHGs were most strongly and positively associated with meat consumption and negatively with whole-grain consumption. In addition, higher accordance with the DASH diet was associated with higher dietary costs, with the mean cost of diets in the top quintile of DASH scores 18% higher than that of diets in the lowest quintile (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Promoting wider uptake of the DASH diet in the United Kingdom may improve population health and reduce diet

  7. A Novel and Cost Effective Approach to the Decommissioning and Decontamination of Legacy Glove Boxes - Minimizing TRU Waste and Maximizing LLW Waste - 13634

    SciTech Connect

    Pancake, Daniel; Rock, Cynthia M.; Creed, Richard; Donohoue, Tom; Martin, E. Ray; Mason, John A.; Norton, Christopher J.; Crosby, Daniel; Nachtman, Thomas J.

    2013-07-01

    determine the TRU content of the boxes by assessing the activity of Am-241 (59 keV) and Pu-241 (414 keV). Using the data generated it was possible for qualified subject matter experts (SME) to assess that the gloveboxes could be consigned for disposition as LLW and not as TRU. Once this determination was assessed and accepted the gloveboxes were prepared for final disposition to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) - formerly the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This preparation involved fixing any remaining radioactive contamination within the gloveboxes by filling them with a foam compound, prior to transportation. Once the remaining contamination was fixed the gloveboxes were removed from the laboratory and prepared for transported by road to NNSS. This successful glovebox decontamination and decommissioning process illustrates the means by which TRU waste generation has been minimized, LLW generation has been maximized, and risk has been effectively managed. The process minimizes the volume of TRU waste and reduced the decommissioning time with significant cost savings as the result. (authors)

  8. Space Station: NASA's software development approach increases safety and cost risks. Report to the Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of Representatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1992-06-01

    The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology asked NASA to study software development issues for the space station. How well NASA has implemented key software engineering practices for the station was asked. Specifically, the objectives were to determine: (1) if independent verification and validation techniques are being used to ensure that critical software meets specified requirements and functions; (2) if NASA has incorporated software risk management techniques into program; (3) whether standards are in place that will prescribe a disciplined, uniform approach to software development; and (4) if software support tools will help, as intended, to maximize efficiency in developing and maintaining the software. To meet the objectives, NASA proceeded: (1) reviewing and analyzing software development objectives and strategies contained in NASA conference publications; (2) reviewing and analyzing NASA, other government, and industry guidelines for establishing good software development practices; (3) reviewing and analyzing technical proposals and contracts; (4) reviewing and analyzing software management plans, risk management plans, and program requirements; (4) reviewing and analyzing reports prepared by NASA and contractor officials that identified key issues and challenges facing the program; (5) obtaining expert opinions on what constitutes appropriate independent V-and-V and software risk management activities; (6) interviewing program officials at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC; at the Space Station Program Office in Reston, Virginia; and at the three work package centers; Johnson in Houston, Texas; Marshall in Huntsville, Alabama; and Lewis in Cleveland, Ohio; and (7) interviewing contractor officials doing work for NASA at Johnson and Marshall. The audit work was performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards, between April 1991 and May 1992.

  9. Teaching Statistics Using Classic Psychology Research: An Activities-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Karen Y.; Dodd, Brett A.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we discuss a collection of active learning activities derived from classic psychology studies that illustrate the appropriate use of descriptive and inferential statistics. (Contains 2 tables.)

  10. Activity-Based Micro-pricing: Realizing Sustainable Behavior Changes through Economic Incentives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamabe, Tetsuo; Lehdonvirta, Vili; Ito, Hitoshi; Soma, Hayuru; Kimura, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Tatsuo

    In this paper, we further develop the idea of combining pervasive computing techniques with electronic payment systems to create activity-based micro-incentives. Economic incentives are an effective way to influence consumer behavior, and are used in e.g. marketing and resource coordination. Our approach allows marketers and regulators to induce consumers to perform particular actions in new application domains by attaching micro-prices to a wider range of behaviors. A key challenge is designing incentive mechanisms that result in desired behavior changes. We examine two basic incentive models. Based on the results of preliminary experiments, we discuss how economic incentives can affect consumer attitudes and lead to sustainable behavior changes.

  11. Cost Accounting and Analysis for University Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leimkuhler, Ferdinand F.; Cooper, Michael D.

    The approach to library planning studied in this report is the use of accounting models to measure library costs and implement program budgets. A cost-flow model for a university library is developed and listed with historical data from the Berkeley General Library. Various comparisons of an exploratory nature are made of the unit costs for…

  12. The folly of using RCCs and RVUs for intermediate product costing.

    PubMed

    Young, David W

    2007-04-01

    Two measures for computing the cost of intermediate projects--a ratio of cost to charges and relative value units--are highly flawed and can have serious financial implications for the hospitals that use them. Full-cost accounting, using the principles of activity-based costing, enables hospitals to measure their costs more accurately, both for competitive bidding purposes and to manage them more effectively.

  13. Impact of an activities-based adult dementia care program

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Margaret; Koch, Kathleen; Hynan, Linda S; Carr, Sandra; Byrnes, Kathleen; Weiner, Myron F

    2005-01-01

    The investigators studied over one year the impact of a newly established once-a-week activity-based day care program for dementia patients combined with 17 educational sessions for caregivers held at the same facility. Outcome measures were patient and caregiver quality of life (QOL), patient behavioral disturbance, and use of community-based resources. Of the 37 enrollees, 3 chose not to start the program and 13 dropped out before the end of one year, largely due to health-related issues. Of the initial group, 21 attended for the entire year. The average patient Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score at entry was 16, indicating a moderate level of dementia. Average score on the CERAD Behavior Rating Scale for Dementia (BRSD) was 30.1, indicating a mild level of behavioral disturbance. Attendance at day care was 91%; at the caregiver educational sessions, 74%. Patient and caregiver enthusiasm for the program was high and all wanted to continue attendance beyond the study period despite the fact that patients reported no change in QOL. Caregivers rated patients as having significantly less QOL, and rated their own QOL as unchanged. Symptomatic patient behaviors, as measured by the BRSD, increased significantly over the period of study. Caregivers reported greater use of community resources. PMID:18568062

  14. As Easy as ABC: Re-engineering the Cost Accounting System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trussel, John M.; Bitner, Larry N.

    1996-01-01

    To be useful for management decision making, the college or university's cost accounting system must capture and measure improvements. Activity-based costing (ABC), which determines more accurately the full costs of services and products, tracks improvements and should proceed alongside reengineering of institutional accounting. Guidelines are…

  15. The social costs of nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Gourevitch, Jesse D; Polasky, Stephen; Isbell, Forest; Tessum, Chris W; Hill, Jason D; Marshall, Julian D

    2016-10-01

    Despite growing recognition of the negative externalities associated with reactive nitrogen (N), the damage costs of N to air, water, and climate remain largely unquantified. We propose a comprehensive approach for estimating the social cost of nitrogen (SCN), defined as the present value of the monetary damages caused by an incremental increase in N. This framework advances N accounting by considering how each form of N causes damages at specific locations as it cascades through the environment. We apply the approach to an empirical example that estimates the SCN for N applied as fertilizer. We track impacts of N through its transformation into atmospheric and aquatic pools and estimate the distribution of associated costs to affected populations. Our results confirm that there is no uniform SCN. Instead, changes in N management will result in different N-related costs depending on where N moves and the location, vulnerability, and preferences of populations affected by N. For example, we found that the SCN per kilogram of N fertilizer applied in Minnesota ranges over several orders of magnitude, from less than $0.001/kg N to greater than $10/kg N, illustrating the importance of considering the site, the form of N, and end points of interest rather than assuming a uniform cost for damages. Our approach for estimating the SCN demonstrates the potential of integrated biophysical and economic models to illuminate the costs and benefits of N and inform more strategic and efficient N management.

  16. The social costs of nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Gourevitch, Jesse D.; Polasky, Stephen; Isbell, Forest; Tessum, Chris W.; Hill, Jason D.; Marshall, Julian D.

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing recognition of the negative externalities associated with reactive nitrogen (N), the damage costs of N to air, water, and climate remain largely unquantified. We propose a comprehensive approach for estimating the social cost of nitrogen (SCN), defined as the present value of the monetary damages caused by an incremental increase in N. This framework advances N accounting by considering how each form of N causes damages at specific locations as it cascades through the environment. We apply the approach to an empirical example that estimates the SCN for N applied as fertilizer. We track impacts of N through its transformation into atmospheric and aquatic pools and estimate the distribution of associated costs to affected populations. Our results confirm that there is no uniform SCN. Instead, changes in N management will result in different N-related costs depending on where N moves and the location, vulnerability, and preferences of populations affected by N. For example, we found that the SCN per kilogram of N fertilizer applied in Minnesota ranges over several orders of magnitude, from less than $0.001/kg N to greater than $10/kg N, illustrating the importance of considering the site, the form of N, and end points of interest rather than assuming a uniform cost for damages. Our approach for estimating the SCN demonstrates the potential of integrated biophysical and economic models to illuminate the costs and benefits of N and inform more strategic and efficient N management. PMID:27713926

  17. Orbital Space Plane Cost Credibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Steve

    2003-01-01

    NASA's largest new start development program is the Orbital Space Plane (OSP) Program. The program is currently in the formulation stage. One of the critical issues to be resolved, prior to initiating full-scale development, is establishing cost credibility of NASA s budget estimates for development, production, and operations of the OSP. This paper will discuss the processes, tools, and methodologies that NASA, along with its industry partners, are implementing to assure cost credibility for the OSP program. Results of benchmarking of current tools and the development of new cost estimating capabilities and approaches will be discussed.

  18. Low cost space.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tischler, A. O.

    1973-01-01

    It is pointed out that a contradiction between boundless space and limited resources has put the space program in the distressing position of cutting good and worthy projects from its activities during this decade. One approach to ameliorate the situation is to increase the productivity of space activities by greater utilization of the equipment developed for its projects. The Space Shuttle constitutes the first big step in that direction. The reusable character of the Shuttle orbiter will cut operational costs by permitting recovery and reuse of payload equipment through routine round-trip operations to space.

  19. Costs and cost containment in nursing homes.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, H L; Fottler, M D

    1981-01-01

    The study examines the impact of structural and process variables on the cost of nursing home care and the utilization of various cost containment methods in 43 california nursing homes. Several predictors were statistically significant in their relation to cost per patient day. A diverse range of cost containment techniques was discovered along with strong predictors of the utilization of these techniques by nursing home administrators. The trade-off between quality of care and cost of care is discussed. PMID:7228713

  20. Cost optimization in low volume VLSI circuits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, K. B., Jr.; Kerns, D. V., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The relationship of integrated circuit (IC) cost to electronic system cost is developed using models for integrated circuit cost which are based on design/fabrication approach. Emphasis is on understanding the relationship between cost and volume for custom circuits suitable for NASA applications. In this report, reliability is a major consideration in the models developed. Results are given for several typical IC designs using off the shelf, full custom, and semicustom IC's with single and double level metallization.