Costs used in economic evaluation are often calculated as a product of counts of items of resource utilisation associated with a patient’s care and a standard ‘unit’ cost of each type of item. In many healthcare systems there are schedules of standard unit costs for different types of resource utilisation. Commonly used unit costs are for hospital in-patient care (per admission or per bed-day), intensive care (per day), emergency department outpatient, clinic or primary care (per visit), community nursing or therapy care (per hour), diagnostics (per test), medicines (per tablet or vial). The use of standard unit cost enables analysts to use the same sources for different economic evaluations, limiting one potential source of variability: if different costs are calculated for different interventions, this will be a result of differences in resources used rather than different valuations of each type of resource. Care should be taken when comparing unit costs across countries as the definitions of resource items may vary.

How to cite: Unit Costs [online]. (2016). York; York Health Economics Consortium; 2016. https://www.yhec.co.uk/glossary/unit-costs/

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