Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham.NEW government statistics show Wimmera Health Care Group’s average cost of care ranksin the top 10 per cent of largeregional health services in Australia.
The National Health Performance Authority has released a report that outlines the costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals from 2011–12 to 2013–14.
Thereport examines Australia’s largest public hospitals and the amount of money each spent in 2013–14 to provide a notional ‘average’ hospital service to their acute admitted patients.
This groupaccounts for the largest proportion of hospital costs nationally.
It includespatients who are admitted forchildbirth, surgery, or other diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
This average cost of care is based not on a hospital’s total costs, but instead on a subset of those costs that can be fairly compared across different hospitals.
Data isavailable for more than 100 public hospitals across Australia.
The report found treatment costs varied widely between hospitals, with some public hospitals spending nearly twice as much as others to deliver the same procedure to similar patients.
Statistics show Wimmera Base Hospital in Horshamranked in the ‘lower cost’ bracket, with an average cost of care that was in the bottom 10 per cent of the large regional peer group.
This group comprised 16 other health services across Australia, including Mildura Base Hospital, Albury-Wodonga Health, and Bathurst Hospital.
Wimmera Base Hospital’saverage cost of care was $3600 in 2011-12, $3500 in 2012-13, and $3200 in 2013-14.
The peer group average ranged from $4340 in the first year, to $4630 in 2013-14.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executiveChris Scott said the figures were pleasing.
“Being in the top 10 per cent of our peer group of regional health services across Australia should give confidence to the community and government that Wimmera Health Care Group is delivering cost-effective quality care to its community and region,” he said.
“As a business we continue to look for innovative ways to meet the demands of the community in a clinically responsible and financially accountable manner.”
The authority’s report saidimproved efficiencies for hospitalsdid not necessarily translate into better patient outcomes, and needed to be considered with other indicators of quality.
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