Harmonized Unit Costs for Health and Social Care Services Based on the PECUNIA Tools: The Example of Austria


Mayer S1, Fischer C1, Konnopka A2, Brodszky V3, Evers S4, Hakkaart-van Roijen L5, Salvador-Carulla L6, Park AL7, Hollingworth W8, Simon J1
1Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 2University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, 3Corvinus University of Budapest, Department of Health Economics, Budapest, PE, Hungary, 4Maastricht University / Trimbos Institute, Maastricht / Utrecht, Netherlands, 5Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 6ANU College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 7London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK, 8University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Presentation Documents

OBJECTIVES: Previous research has shown that depending on the methodology applied in the unit cost development, staggering differences in unit costs may arise. In light of this, the EU-funded H2020 ProgrammE in Costing, resource use measurement and outcome valuation for Use in multi-sectoral National and International health economic evaluAtions (PECUNIA; grant agreement No 779292) aims to i.a. harmonize the cross-sectoral and cross-country unit cost development and calculate standardized unit costs for selected services in several countries.

METHODS: Using the developed PECUNIA unit cost calculator templates for services, drawing on national-level secondary data and matching harmonized units of analysis derived from previous PECUNIA research, unit costs for five core health and social care services were calculated for Austria: general practitioner (GP), dental care, nursing home, health-related day-care center, help-line. DESDE (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe) codes were tentatively assigned to the services based on published sources. Unit costs were calculated in Euro for year 2019.

RESULTS: Unit costs for GP, dental care, nursing home, health-related day-care center and help-line were estimated at EUR 36 (unit of analysis: consultation; DESDE code: SH-NX[ICD-10]O8.1u), EUR 101 (consultation; SH-NX[K00-K14]O8.1u), EUR 75 (night; SS-NX[ICD-10]R8.2), EUR 78 (day; SH-NX[ICD-10]D4.1) and EUR 9 (contact; SH-CX[ICD-10]I1.2.4e), respectively. Where available, estimates for privately-funded estimates were found to be higher than for publicly-funded services by up to 50%.

CONCLUSION: This study is first to develop internationally harmonized unit costs for health and social care services for use in Austrian costing studies. Further external validation of these estimates is foreseen. As one of the main advantages, the assignment of DESDE codes make the unit costs semantically interoperable across countries. Furthermore, the unit costs may be used together with the PECUNIA resource-use measurement (RUM) instrument advancing RUM and cost valuation in future economic evaluations based on two aligned tools.

Conference/Value in Health Info

2020-11, ISPOR Europe 2020, Milan, Italy

Value in Health, Volume 23, Issue S2 (December 2020)




Economic Evaluation, Health Policy & Regulatory, Organizational Practices

Topic Subcategory

Academic & Educational, Cost-comparison, Effectiveness, Utility, Benefit Analysis, Insurance Systems & National Health Care


No Specific Disease

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