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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887


CID P, Camilo  e  BASTIAS S, Gabriel. Evaluation of financial status of public hospitals considering the updated costs of their services. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2014, vol.142, n.2, pp.161-167. ISSN 0034-9887.

In 2011 the Chilean National Health Fund (FONASA) commissioned a study to assess the costs of the 120 most relevant hospital care services with an established fee, in a large sample of public hospitals. We herein report the cost evaluation results of such study, considering the financial condition of those hospitals in the year of the study. Based on the premise that the expenses derived from the provision of institutional and appraised hospital services should be identical to the billing of hospitals to FONASA, the prices are undervalued, since they cover only 56% of billing, generating a gap between expenses and invoicing. This gap shows an important limitation of tariffs, since their prices do not cover the real costs. However not all hospitals behave in the same way. While the provision of services of some hospitals is even higher than their billing, most hospitals do not completely justify their invoicing. These assumptions would imply that, generally speaking, hospital debts are justified by the costs incurred. However, hospitals have heterogeneous financial situations that need to be analyzed carefully. In particular, nothing can be said about their relative efficiency if cost estimations are not adjusted by the complexity of patients attended and comparison groups are not defined.

Palavras-chave : Health care costs; Hospital costs; Hospital charges; Hospital debt.

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