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The average cost per separation is a measure of efficiency of admitted patient services. Patients with more complex conditions are likely to cost more than patients with less complex conditions. In order to compare the average cost per admitted patient across hospitals, it is necessary to adjust for the average complexity of patients treated in each hospital. This is called 'casemix adjustment'.

The average cost per casemix-adjusted separation in public hospitals increased from $3,922 in 2006–07 to $4,918 in 2010–11 (not adjusted for inflation).

This represents a total increase of 25.4% in this period (Figure 33), an average increase of 5.7% annually.

In 2010–11 the average cost comprised:      

  • $2,448 for non-medical labour expenditure
  • $1,066 for medical labour expenditure
  • $1,404 for other recurrent expenditure.

Other recurrent expenditure costs include domestic services; repairs and maintenance; administration; and medical, drug and food supplies. It does not include capital and other fixed costs.

Figure 33: Cost per casemix-adjusted separation, public hospitals, 2006–07 to 2010–11

This line chart shows the cost per casemix-adjusted separation ($) in public hospitals from 2006–07 to 2010–11. The costs are based on Non-medical labour costs; Other recurrent costs and Medical labour costs.  

For more information see: Admitted patient care: overview