SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Background

The cost associated with treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer is expected to rise considerably over the coming decades. This important public health problem is therefore expected to have an enormous economic impact for the various public health services.

Objectives

To estimate the cost of the surgical-care process of non-melanoma skin cancer at the Costa del Sol Hospital and seek areas to improve its efficiency, using the activity-based costing (ABC) method and the tools designed for decision analysis.

Secondary objective

To compare the costs for hospitalized patients obtained using the ABC method with the data published by the Spanish Ministry of Health, using the diagnosis-related groups (DRG) classification system.

Material and methods

Retrospective analysis of the cost of non-melanoma skin cancer surgery at the Costa del Sol Hospital.

Results

The total estimated cost from 2006 to 2010 was 3 398 540€. Most of the episodes (47.3%) corresponded to minor outpatient surgery. The costs of the episodes varied greatly according to the type of admission: 423€ (minor outpatient surgery), 1267€ (major outpatient surgery), and 1832€ (inpatient surgery). The average cost of an inpatient episode varied significantly depending on the calculation system used (ABC: 2328€ vs. DRG: 5674€).

Conclusions

The ABC cost analysis system favours standardization of the care process for these tumours and the detection of areas to improve efficiency. This would enable more reliable economic studies than those obtained using traditional methods, such as the DRG.