Cost-covering in-patient care is increasingly important for hospital providers in Germany, especially with regard to expensive oncological pharmaceuticals. Additional payments (Zusatzentgelte; ZE) on top of flat rate diagnose-related group (DRG) reimbursement can be claimed by hospitals for in-patient use of selected medications. To verify cost coverage of in-patient chemotherapies, the costs of medication were compared to their revenues.
From January to June 2010, a retrospective cost-revenue study was performed at a German obstetrics/gynecology university clinic. The hospital's pharmacy list of inpatient oncological therapies for breast and gynecological cancer was checked for accuracy and compared with the documented ZEs and the costs and revenues for each oncological application.
N = 45 in-patient oncological therapies were identified in n = 18 patients, as well as n = 7 bisphosphonate applications; n = 11 ZEs were documented. Costs for oncological medication were € 33,752. The corresponding ZE revenues amounted to only € 13,980, resulting in a loss of € 19,772. All in-patient oncological therapies performed were not cost-covering. Data discrepancy, incorrect documentation and cost attribution, and process aborts were identified.
Routine financial quality control at the medicine-pharmacy administration interface is implemented, with monthly comparison of costs and revenues, as well as admission status. Non-cost-covering therapies for in-patients should be converted to out-patient therapies. Necessary adjustments of clinic processes are made according to these results, to avoid future losses.