Measuring diagnosis and patient profitability in healthcare: economics vs ethics

Title: Measuring diagnosis and patient profitability in healthcare: economics vs ethics
Issue: Vol. 8, No 1, 2015
Published date: 20-05-2015 (print) / 20-05-2015 (online)
Journal: Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
Authors: Boris Popesko
Petr Novák
Šárka Papadaki
Keywords: healthcare organization, hospital profitability, costing, hospital management, Activity-Based Costing, pa- tient cost
DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2015/8-1/18
Language: English
Pages: 234-245 (12)
JEL classification: I11, M41

This paper focuses on issues relating to gauging profitability under circumstances in Czech healthcare orga- nizations. At present, the trend in healthcare management is for more frequent utilization of advanced economic and cost accounting tools. These qualitatively improve the de- cision-making process in healthcare establishments, as well as aiding provision of accurate data on the cost and revenue of the outputs of hospital organizations, such as the various diagnoses and types of patients. Herein the authors pres- ent analysis of the profitability of such patient and diag- nose-types (DRG) in selected hospital departments of Czech regional hospital. Revenue from insurance payments is com- pared with costs calculated via the Activity-Based Costing method so as to discern more accurately the proceeds of a given DRG and patient. The results of the study highlighted crucial differences between the income generated by indi- vidual cost objects (i.e. patients and DRGs). Utilizing such information could greatly benefit decision-making and en- hance cost effectiveness of the hospital services. However, any healthcare establishment worldwide is strictly curtailed in this by the ethical standards it must uphold when making decisions on potentially raising profitability. The final part of the study discusses the findings of the profitability analy- sis performed by the authors in the given context of general healthcare organizations management.