Objectives: The objective of the present study was to measure and compare the direct costs of intensive care unit (ICU) days at seven ICU departments in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom by means of a standardized costing methodology. Methods: A retrospective cost analysis of ICU patients was performed from the hospital's perspective. The standardized costing methodology was developed on the basis of the availability of data at the seven ICU departments. It entailed the application of the bottomup approach for "hotel and nutrition" and the topdown approach for "diagnostics," "consumables," and "labor." Results: Direct costs per ICU day ranged from €1168 to €2025. Even though the distribution of costs varied by cost component, labor was the most important cost driver at all departments. The costs for "labor" amounted to €1629 at department G but were fairly similar at the other departments (€711 ± 115). Conclusions: Direct costs of ICU days vary widely between the seven departments. Our standardized costing methodology could serve as a valuable instrument to compare actual cost differences, such as those resulting from differences in patient case-mix.

comparative study, cost analysis, costing methodology, Europe, intensive care
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2011.09.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/66908
Value in Health
Department of Intensive Care

Tan, S.S, Bakker, J, Hoogendoorn, M.E, Kapila, A, Martin, J, Pezzi, A, … Hakkaart-van Roijen, L. (2012). Direct cost analysis of intensive care unit stay in four European countries: Applying a standardized costing methodology. Value in Health, 15(1), 81–86. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2011.09.007