Cost per NWAU, 2013–14

In 2013–14, some major metropolitan public hospitals were found to cost almost twice as much as similar hospitals in the average cost of care, as measured by Cost per NWAU.

Across major metropolitan public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,420. The averages at individual major metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,100 at one hospital to $6,100 at another hospital (97% higher) (Figure 1).

In 2013–14, the lowest 10% and highest 10% of major metropolitan public hospitals are presented below.

Table 2: Major metropolitan public hospitals with the highest and lowest average cost of care in 2013–14

Highest 10%  
The Canberra Hospital (ACT) $6,100
Calvary Public Hospital (ACT) $5,800
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (WA) $5,600
Fremantle Hospital (WA) $5,500
Lowest 10%  
Dandenong Campus (Vic)           $3,400
Western Hospital [Footscray] (Vic) $3,300
Casey Hospital (Vic) $3,200
Frankston Hospital (Vic) $3,100

The Authority has also updated the website with data for more than 100 public hospitals.

Across large metropolitan public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,590. The averages at individual large metropolitan  public  hospitals  ranged from $3,600 at one hospital to $5,800 at another hospital (61% higher).

Highest 10%  
Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital (WA) $5,800
Lowest 10%  
Werribee Mercy Hospital (Vic)                 $3,600

Across major regional public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,470. The averages at individual major regional public hospitals ranged from $3,400 at one hospital to $5,400 at another hospital (59% higher).

Highest 10%  
Mackay Base Hospital (Qld) $5,400
Royal Darwin Hospital (NT) $5,300
Lowest 10%  
Goulburn Valley Health [Shepparton] (Vic)          $3,900
Port Macquarie Hospital (NSW) $3,900
Latrobe Regional Hospital (Traralgon) (Vic) $3,400

Across large regional public hospitals, the average cost per NWAU was $4,630. The averages at individual large regional public hospitals ranged from $3,200 at one hospital to $5,900 at another hospital (84% higher).

Highest 10%  
Bathurst Hospital (NSW) $5,900
Lowest 10%  
Wimmera Base Hospital (Vic) $3,200

Figure 1: Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) for acute admitted patients, major metropolitan public hospitals, 2011–12 to 2013–14

  2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Peer average expenditure per hospital $214,775,000 $222,300,900 $228,444,200
Peer average NWAU per hospital

48,987

50,917 51,668
Peer average Cost per NWAU $4,380 $4,370 $4,420

Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU) for acute admitted patients, major metropolitan
public hospitals, 2011–12 to 2013–14

Note: References can be found in the Technical Supplement and definitions of terms in the Glossary.

Sources: National Health Performance Authority analysis of results calculated using the National Hospital Cost Data Collection, the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set and the Hospital Casemix Protocol Data Collection. Data supplied 18 and 28 October 2014 (2011–12 data) and 27 November 2015 (2012–13 and 2013–14 data).