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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
ORIGINAL ARTICLES CRITICAL AND INTENSIVE THERAPY
Minerva Anestesiologica 2001 January-February;67(1-2):41-53
Cost of ICU in Italy. Results from an empirical study on a sample of 12 hospitals
Cavallo M. C., Lazzaro C., Tabacchi M., Langer M. *, Salvo I. **, Serra G. ***, Taddei C. ***
CeRGAS Università «L. Bocconi» - Milano
*Ospedale «S. Matteo» IRCCS - Pavia Anestesia e Rianimazione II
**Ospedale «V. Buzzi» - Milano Servizio di Anestesia e Rianimazione
***Pharmacoeconomics Department Smithkline Beecham SpA
Background. The Italian hospital payment system based on DRG doesn’t properly include Intensive Care Units (ICU) costs. Since great emphasis has been recently given to rationing health care resources, assessing ICU costs seems to be dramatically relevant. Aim of the study was to assess the average yearly cost and the cost per diem of a sample of Italian multispecialistic ICU wards.
Methods. In September 1995, a questionnaire concerning data on variable and fixed cost was sent to 25 Italian ICU wards, 11 NHS hospital-based (Northern Italy: 5; Central Italy: 4; Southern Italy: 2) and 14 school of medicine-based (Northern Italy: 7; Central Italy: 5; Southern Italy: 2). Variable cost data included: disposable, drugs, blood and blood-derived products, physical tests, chemical and microbiological routines, instrumental diagnostic procedures and physiotherapy. Concerning fixed costs, data on personnel and equipment were requested. In addition, some hospital overheads data (utilities; power; heating; maintenance; cleaning; laundry; accounting; waste disposal; cafeteria) were collected.
Results. On the basis of the 12 questionnaires returned (Northern Italy: 9; Central Italy: 3; Southern Italy: 0), the yearly cost of an ICU ward is Liras 4,580,032,000 (range 2,739,277,000-7,704,292,000), whereas the average cost per diem is Liras 1,802,000 (range 1,234,000-3,179,000). Cost of personnel is about 61% of the above mentioned costs.
Conclusions. Despite the lack of questionnaires from Southern Italy and the unavailability of some data concerning both the cost of equipment and the overheads, the remarkable average cost values obtained could support further research.