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Hospital Performance: Costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals from 2011–12 to 2013–14

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Key findings
Cost per NWAU, 2013–14

In 2013–14, some major metropolitan public hospitals were found to cost almost twice as much as similar hospitals in the average cost of care, as measured by Cost per NWAU.

Major metropolitan public hospitals

Across major metropolitan public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,420. The averages at individual major metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,100 at one hospital to $6,100 at another hospital (97% higher) (Figure 1).

In 2013–14, the lowest 10% and highest 10% of major metropolitan public hospitals are presented below.

Table 2: Major metropolitan public hospitals with the highest and lowest average cost of care in 2013–14

Percentage group Hospital Average cost of care
Highest 10% The Canberra Hospital (ACT) $6,100
Calvary Public Hospital (ACT) $5,800
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (WA) $5,600
Fremantle Hospital (WA) $5,500
Lowest 10% Dandenong Campus (Vic) $3,400
Western Hospital [Footscray] (Vic) $3,300
Casey Hospital (Vic) $3,200
Frankston Hospital (Vic) $3,100

Figure 1: Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) for acute admitted patients, major metropolitan public hospitals, 2011–12 to 2013–14

2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Peer average expenditure per hospital $214,775,000 $222,300,900 $228,444,200
Peer average NWAU per hospital 48,987 50,917 51,668
Peer average Cost per NWAU $4,380 $4,370 $4,420

An infographic image showing the Cost per NWAU for acute admitted patients in public hospitals in 2011-12

Hospital 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
The Canberra Hospital (ACT) $5,800a $5,800a $6,100a
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (WA) $5,500a $5,600a $6,600a
Logan Hospital (Qld) $5,300a NP $5,000
Calvary Public Hospital (ACT) $5,300a $5,500a $5,800a
The Prince Charles Hospital (Qld) $5,200 $5,300a $5,200
Fremantle Hospital (WA) $5,100 $5,200 $5,500a
Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (Qld)b $5,000 $4,900 $4,700
Mater Adult Hospital (Qld)b $4,900 $4,900 $4,700
Westmead Hospital (NSW)b $4,700 $4,500 $4,300
Caboolture Hospital (Qld)b $4,700 $4,600 $4,300
St George Hospital (NSW)b $4,400 $4,100 $4,100
Campbelltown Hospital (NSW)b $4,300 $4,400 $4,100
The Alfred (Vic)b $3,900 $3,700 $3,700
Western Hospital [Footscray] (Vic)b $3,600 $3,400c $3,300c
Royal Melbourne Hospital [Parkville] (Vic) $3,400c $3,600 $3,600
Dandenong Campus (Vic) $3,400c $3,400c $3,400c
The Northern Hospital [Epping] (Vic) $3,400c $3,300c $3,500
Sunshine Hospital (Vic) $3,400c $3,400c $3,500
Maroondah Hospital [East Ringwood] (Vic) $3,100c $3,600 $3,500
Frankston Hospital (Vic) NP $3,100c $3,100c
Casey Hospital (Vic) NP $3,600 $3,300c

a. $X,XXX Highest 10% of peer group hospitals nationally

b. Hospital Hospitals that decreased Cost per NWAU by at least 5% from 2011–12 to 2013–14

c. $X,XXX Lowest 10% of peer group hospitals nationally

Note
References can be found in the Technical Supplement and definitions of terms in the Glossary
Sources
National Health Performance Authority analysis of results calculated using the National Hospital Cost Data Collection, the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set and the Hospital Casemix Protocol Data Collection. Data supplied 18 and 28 October 2014 (2011–12 data) and 27 November 2015 (2012–13 and 2013–14 data).

Results for Cost per NWAU in 47 Australian major metropolitan public hospitals can be found in Figure 2.

Large metropolitan public hospitals

In 2013–14, across large metropolitan public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,590. The averages at individual large metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,600 at one hospital to $5,800 at another hospital (61% higher):

Percentage group Hospital Average cost of care
Highest 10% Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital (WA) $5,800
Lowest 10% Werribee Mercy Hospital (Vic) $3,600

Major regional public hospitals

In 2013–14, across major regional public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,470. The averages at individual major regional public hospitals ranged from $3,400 at one hospital to $5,400 at another hospital (59% higher).

Percentage group Hospital Average cost of care
Highest 10% Mackay Base Hospital (Qld) $5,400
Royal Darwin Hospital (NT) $5,300
Lowest 10% Goulburn Valley Health [Shepparton] (Vic) $3,900
Port Macquarie Hospital (NSW) $3,900
Latrobe Regional Hospital [Traralgon] (Vic) $3,400

Large regional public hospitals

In 2013–14, across large regional public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,630. The averages at individual large regional public hospitals ranged from $3,200 at one hospital to $5,900 at another hospital (84% higher).

Percentage group Hospital Average cost of care
Highest 10% Bathurst Hospital (NSW) $5,900
Lowest 10% Wimmera Base Hospital (Vic) $3,200
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