The data presented in this section can provide insights into the efficiency of Australia’s largest public hospitals by comparing the costs they incur while providing care to acute admitted patients. A hospital is considered more efficient if it is able to deliver more services while consuming fewer resources. Measuring hospital costs against a measure of hospital output for a given service can indicate how efficient hospitals are compared to other similar hospitals.
The National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) was developed by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) as part of setting the National Efficient Price (NEP) of public hospital services. The NWAU allows different hospital activities to be expressed as a common unit of activity, by accounting for differences in the complexity of patients’ conditions or procedures and legitimate increases in costs. The notional ‘average’ hospital service is worth one NWAU.
Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) is a measure focusing on acute admitted patients whose treatment is eligible for Activity Based Funding. Therefore, the measure does not include any Emergency Department costs prior to a patient’s admission or costs relating to hospital services which are funded by other Commonwealth programmes, such as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or other sources such as motor vehicle accident insurance, workers’ compensation or public liability damage claims. More about the measure, cost per NWAU.
Cost per NWAU
In 2014–15, the cost per NWAU at this hospital was $5,200, and the total NWAU was 6,574. This result compares to a peer average for cost per NWAU of $4,950. The results include private patients in public hospitals, where 19% of the patients were privately funded.
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Financial performance, Cost per NWAU
Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU)
Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU), developed by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA), measures the costs of acute admitted patients against a common unit of activity (a measure of output), known as the NWAU.