There is a paucity of cost analytical studies from resource constrained developing countries defining intensive care costs and their containment.
Economic analysis of costs in a Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU) of a tertiary care teaching hospital in northern India.
A prospective study was conducted in 74 patients admitted in the RICU. Costs were segregated into fixed and variable costs. Total and categorized costs averaged per day and costs incurred on the first day of the RICU stay were calculated. Correlation of the costs was performed with the length of stay, length of mechanical ventilation, survival, and therapeutic intervention scoring system-28 (TISS-28).
The total cost per day was Indian rupees (INR) 10,364 (US $ 222). 46.4% of the total cost was borne by hospital and rest by patients. The mean cost represented 36.8% of the total cost and 69.8% of the variable cost. Expenditure on personnel salary constituted 37% of the total costs and 86% of the fixed cost. Length of stay in RICU was significantly higher in nonsurvivors (14.73 ± 13.6 days) vs. survivors (8.3 ± 7.8 days) ( P < 0.05). The TISS-28 score points in survivors was 30.6 vs. nonsurvivors 69.2 per nurse ( P < 0.05) correlating strongly with the total cost (r = 0.91).
Although considerably less expensive than in economically developed countries, intensive care in India remains expensive relative to the cost of living. The cost block methodology provides a framework for cost estimation, aids resource allocation and allows international comparisons of economic models.