The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 39–45 | Cite as

Comparing methodologies for the cost estimation of hospital services

  • S. S. Tan
  • F. F. H. Rutten
  • B. M. van Ineveld
  • W. K. Redekop
  • L. Hakkaart-van Roijen
Original paper


The aim of the study was to determine whether the total cost estimate of a hospital service remains reliable when the cost components of bottom-up microcosting were replaced by the cost components of top-down microcosting or gross costing. Total cost estimates were determined in representative general hospitals in the Netherlands for appendectomy, normal delivery, stroke and acute myocardial infarction for 2005. It was concluded that restricting the use of bottom-up microcosting to those cost components that have a great impact on the total costs (i.e., labour and inpatient stay) would likely result in reliable cost estimates.


Microcosting Cost comparison Cost calculation Methodology Hospital service 

JEL Classification

B40 B41 D24 D61 D70 



The authors would like to thank the employees of the clinical and financial departments of the participating general hospitals who provided resource use and cost data for the cost calculations. The study was partly financed by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Research Programme (grant no. SP21-CT-2004-501588).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Tan
    • 1
  • F. F. H. Rutten
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. M. van Ineveld
    • 1
  • W. K. Redekop
    • 1
  • L. Hakkaart-van Roijen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Technology AssessmentErasmus MC University Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Health Policy and ManagementErasmus MC University Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands

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