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Costs Vary Greatly for Similar Treatment Across Hospitals In Australia Report Finds

The cost of treating patients can be almost twice as high depending on the hospital, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The report, Costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals from 2012–13 to 2014–15, examines the costs associated with providing similar treatment to patients, across comparable public hospitals. These data are available for benchmarking the average costs of care across hospitals and over time. The report shows that some hospitals spent up to $6,400 to deliver a notional ‘average’ service for acute admitted patients, which cost as little as $3,300 in other hospitals.   Overall, the average cost of delivering care in major public hospitals decreased by 1% over the period 2012–13 to 2014–15. To support fair comparisons of hospitals, the report does not include costs that are not comparable across hospitals nationally, such as property expenses. The methods used in this report also account for key differences in the type of services provided to patients and the complexity of a patient’s condition. These data do not, however, include information about the quality of care or patient outcomes so are only an indirect measure of hospital efficiency. This information is published on the MyHospitals website (https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/), which is managed by the AIHW.

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