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Hospital Performance: Costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals from 2012–13 to 2014–15

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Cost of care in 2014–15

In 2014–15, delivering an average service at some major public hospitals cost 55% more than at other similar hospitals, as measured by cost per NWAU.

Across major public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,680. For individual major public hospitals, cost per NWAU ranged from $3,900 at one hospital to $6,000 at another (55% higher, based on unrounded data; see MyHospitals Box) (Figure 1).

The major public hospitals with the highest and lowest cost per NWAU are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Major public hospitals with the highest and lowest cost per NWAU in 2014–15

Highest 10%
The Canberra Hospital (ACT) $6,000
Royal Perth Hospital Wellington Street Campus (WA) $5,900
Lowest 10%
Monash Medical Centre [Clayton] (Vic) $4,000
The Alfred (Vic) $3,900
Note:
Data for all published years is classified by a single version of the AR-DRG codes (Version 8.0) and National Efficient Pricing Determination (2017–18, NEP17).

MyHospitals

In 2014–15

Across large metropolitan public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,460. Cost per NWAU at individual large metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,500 to $6,300 (80% higher*).

Highest 10%
Fremantle Hospital (WA) $6,300
Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital (WA) $6,000
Calvary Public Hospital (ACT) $6,000
Lowest 10%
Frankston Hospital (Vic) $3,600
Maroondah Hospital (Vic) $3,500

Across large regional public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,420. Cost per NWAU at individual large regional public hospitals ranged from $3,700 to $5,600 (51% higher*).

Highest 10%
Mackay Base Hospital (Qld) $5,600
Bathurst Base Hospital (NSW) $5,400
Lowest 10%
The Bendigo Hospital (Vic) $3,800
Latrobe Regional Hospital (Traralgon) (Vic) $3,700

Across medium metropolitan public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,080. Cost per NWAU at individual medium metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,300 to $5,000 (53% higher*).

Highest 10%
Swan District Hospital (WA) $5,000
Lowest 10%
Casey Hospital (Vic) $3,300
Note that in November 2015, the St John of God Midland Public Hospital opened, and the Swan District Hospital closed.

Across medium regional public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,950. Cost per NWAU at individual medium regional public hospitals ranged from $3,800 to $6,400 (70% higher*).

Highest 10%
Kalgoorlie Hospital (WA) $6,400
Gladstone Hospital (Qld) $5,700
Lowest 10%
Maryborough Hospital (Qld) $3,800
*
Percentage difference figures are calculated based on unrounded data for individual hospitals.

Figure 1: Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) for acute admitted patients, major public hospitals, 2012–13 to 2014–15

2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Peer average expenditure per hospital $308,278,700 $316,440,500 $323,596,400
Peer average NWAU per hospital 65,217 66,915 69,203
Peer average Cost per NWAU $4,730 $4,730 $4,680

An infographic image showing the Cost per NWAU for acute admitted patients, major public hospitals, 2012-13 to 2014-15

Highest and lowest 10% of hospitals across 2012–13 to 2014–15 for cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) for acute admitted patients

Hospital Comparison of peer group hospitals nationally
2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Canberra (ACT) Highest 10% Highest 10% Highest 10%
Sir Charles Gairdner (WA) Highest 10% Highest 10%
Royal Perth (WA) Highest 10%
The Alfred (Vic) Lowest 10% Lowest 10% Lowest 10%
Royal Melbourne (Vic) Lowest 10% Lowest 10%
Monash [Clayton] (Vic) Lowest 10% Lowest 10%

Hospitals that decreased Cost per NWAU by at least 5% from 2012–13 to 2014–15

Hospital Cost per NWAU
2012–13 2014–15
Prince Charles (Qld) $5,500 $5,100
Flinders (SA) $5,100 $4,700
Royal Brisbane & Women's (Qld) $5,000 $4,700
Prince of Wales (NSW) $4,800 $4,600
St Vincent's (Vic) $4,600 $4,500
Westmead (NSW) $4,700 $4,300
Nepean (NSW) $4,400 $4,100
1
References can be found in the Technical Supplement and definitions of terms in the Glossary.
2
Data for all published years is classified by a single version of the AR–DRG codes (Version 8.0) and National Efficient Pricing Determination (2017–18, NEP17).
3
Data are presented for hospitals that recorded a change over time result, between 2012–13 and 2014–15.
Sources:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 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 26 September 2017.
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