Return to 2001 Abstacts List

123. The Cost of all Inpatient and Outpatient Utilization in the VA: Understanding and using the Health Economics Resource Center's Average Cost

TH, Wagner; CS, Phibbs; W, Yu; PG, Barnett; S, Chen

Workshop Objectives: This workshop will provide an in-depth presentation on the average cost dataset that the Health Economics Resource Center (HERC) has developed for every VA inpatient discharge and outpatient visit in 1998. The workshop will review the methods of estimating costs, while providing examples and highlighting the limitations of the data.

Workshop Activities: This workshop will review the average cost (AC) dataset that was made available to VA researcher in October 2000 via the Austin Automation Center. The first half of the workshop will review the methods that were used to develop the AC dataset. The second half of the workshop will review applications of the AC data and limitations of the dataset. In particular, we will explain when micro-costing methods are more appropriate than using the average cost methods. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions from their own research projects.

Target Audience: Health services researchers and VA managers interested in VA cost information.

Audience Familiarity: For all background levels. Attendees need not have an economics background.