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Hospital Performance: Costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals in 2011–12

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Cellulitis
Without complications or comorbidities

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissue which is usually treated with antibiotics. The data presented here relate to costs incurred by a hospital for patients who were admitted for cellulitis without complications or comorbidities.

In 2011–12, there were 23,432 admissions for cellulitis without complications or comorbidities in major metropolitan and major regional public hospitals.

CACost per Admission

Across all major metropolitan hospitals, the average cost per admission for cellulitis was $3,800. The average cost per admission ranged from $1,900 at one hospital to $7,400 at another hospital.

Across all major regional hospitals, the average cost per admission for cellulitis was $4,000. The average cost per admission ranged from $2,700 at one hospital to $5,500 at another hospital.

LOSLength of Stay

A previous Authority report showed the average length of stay for cellulitis in 2011–12 was 3.8 days.7 At major metropolitan hospitals, the average length of stay ranged from 2.1 to 5.5 days, and at major regional hospitals the average length of stay ranged from 2.5 to 6.4 days.7

By comparing the cost of a patient’s admission for cellulitis to their length of stay it is possible to assess the incremental cost that each additional day(s) spent in hospital contributes to the patient’s costs of care (Figure 5).

It is important to note that these costs do not reflect the total costs of treating this condition. The report considers only the subset of total costs that are fully comparable between hospitals. For example, it excludes property, plant and equipment costs.

Over half of the admissions for cellulitis are considered potentially preventable hospitalisations.8

Figure 5: Table showing the average cost for cellulitis without complications or comorbidities in major public hospitals, by length of stay, 2011–12

Length of stay Average cost
Same day $1,000
1 day $2,200
2 days $3,300
3 days $4,000
4 days $4,700
5 days $5,500
6 days $6,000

Sources: National Health Performance Authority analysis of results calculated using the National Hospital Cost Data Collection 2011–12 and Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Dataset 2011–12.

7. National Health Performance Authority. Hospital Performance: Length of stay in public hospitals in 2011–12 [Internet]. Sydney: National Health Performance Authority; 2013 Nov 7 [cited 2013 Nov 7]. Available from: Hospital Performance: Length of stay in public hospitals in 2011–12

8. National Health Performance Authority. Healthy Communities: Selected potentially avoidable hospitalisations in 2011–12 [Internet]. Sydney: National Health Performance Authority; 2013 Nov 7 [cited 2013 Nov 7]. Available from: http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au/our-reports/selected-potentially-avoidable-hospitalisations/november-2013