Time is money: Examining the time cost and associated charges of common performance validity tests
Objective: This study presents data on the time cost and associated charges for common performance validity tests (PVTs). It also applies an approach from cost effectiveness research to comparison of tests that incorporates cost and classification accuracy. Method: A recent test usage survey was used to identify PVTs in common use among adult neuropsychologists. Data on test administration and scoring time were aggregated. Charges per test were calculated. A cost effectiveness approach was applied to compare pairs of tests from three studies using data on test administration time and classification accuracy operationalized as improvement in posterior probability beyond base rate. Charges per unit increase in posterior probability over base rate were calculated for base rates of invalidity ranging from 10 to 40%. Results: Ten commonly used PVTs measures showed a wide range in test administration and scoring time from 1 to 3 minutes to over 40 minutes with associated charge estimates from $4 to $284. Cost effectiveness comparisons illustrated the nuance in test selection and benefit of considering cost in relation to outcome rather than prioritizing time (i.e. cost minimization) classification accuracy alone. Conclusions: Findings extend recent research efforts to fill knowledge gaps related to the cost of neuropsychological evaluation. The cost effectiveness approach warrants further study in other samples with different neuropsychological and outcome measures.