Background: This study identified per patient resource use and staff costs at a cystic fibrosis (CF) outpatient unit from the health care provider's perspective. Methods: Personnel cost data were prospectively collected for all CF outpatients (n = 126) under routine conditions at the Charité Medical School Berlin in Germany over a six month study period. Patients were grouped according to age, sex and two severity categories. Ordinary least squares regression analysis was performed to determine the impact of various independent variables on personnel costs. Results: The mean staff costs were 142.3 per patient over six months of outpatient service. Services provided by physicians were the biggest contributor to staff costs. Patient age correlated significantly and negatively with mean total costs per patient. Conclusions: Age of patient is a significant determinant of staff costs for CF outpatient care. For a cost-covering remuneration of outpatient treatment it seems plausible to create separate reimbursement rates for two or three age groups and to consider additional costs due to tasks carried out by physicians without direct patient contact. The relatively low staff costs identified by our study reflect a staffing level not sufficient for specialist CF outpatient care.
cystic fibrosis outpatient service cost analysis micro-costing activity-based costing respiratory tract colonization lung function testing analysis of variance multivariate analysis