Total Cost of Pre-Hospital Emergency Missions based on the Activity-based Costing Model and its Comparison with the Cost of Private Emergency Pre-Hospital Emergency Services in Mashhad in 2016

  • Hossein Ebrahimi Pour
  • Elahe Pourahmadi
  • Reza Vafayinezhad
  • Shapour Badie Aval
  • ahra Keyvanlou
  • Akbar Javan Biparva
Keywords: Total cost, Pre-hospital emergency care, Public sector, Private sector


Background: Pre-hospital care plays an important role in managing patients who require emergency services and preserving human life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost of completed public pre-hospital emergency missions according to the activity-based costing model and to compare it with the cost of private pre-hospital emergency services in Mashhad in 2016.

Methods: In this applied and descriptive cross-sectional study, the data were collected using a researcher-made form 4 major groups of costs were identified to estimate the total costs: 1- Personnel salaries, 2- Current expenses 3- Medical consumables 4- Depreciation. The cost of providing pre-hospital services was calculated based on the activity-based costing. Eventually, the cost of pre-hospital emergency services was compared between the public and private sectors. To investigate the cost-effective factors for missions, multiple regression analysis, Breusch-Pagan, Ramsey RESET, Swilk, and Linktest diagnostic tests were used by  Stata 11.0 software.

Results: The average cost of each mission was equal to 2114337 ± 217786 thousand Rials in 58 emergency medical centers of Mashhad in 2016. Of this cost, 78.51 %, (1660129 ± 1578445 Rials) was related to employees' salaries, 19.24 % (406842 ± 375083 Rials) was related to the current costs of each center, 0.23 % (4796 ± 4476 Rials) was related to depreciation, and 2/02 % (42761 ± 42822 Rials) was related to medical consumables in each pre-hospital emergency mission. The value of contract with an emergency pre-hospital emergency was 1104000 Rials for each mission in 2016, which is almost half of the cost related to the public pre-hospital. Results of the regression model estimation also showed that among the variables of the model, the fuel cost variable was identified as an effective variable on the cost of each mission (p = 0.0001).

Conclusion: The private sector provides pre-hospital emergency services at a lower cost. Moreover, before establishing a pre-hospital pre-service center, the cost-effectiveness of establishing a center in each region should be checked.