A randomised controlled trial of the costs of hospital as compared with hospital in the home for acute medical patients

Aust N Z J Public Health. 2000 Jun;24(3):305-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842x.2000.tb01573.x.


Objective: To test the cost effectiveness of Hospital in the Home compared to hospital admission for acute medical conditions.

Method: Randomised controlled trial at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, from October 1995 to February, 1997; 100 patients with acute medical conditions admitted through the Emergency Department.

Results: The Hospital in the Home (HITH) group costs per separation ($1,764, CI 95% $1,416-$2,111, n = 50) were significantly lower (p < 0.0001, Mann-Whitney U-Wilcoxon Rank Sum) than the control group hospital separation ($3,614, CI 95% $2,881.37-$4,347.27, n = 47) with no significant difference in clinical outcomes, and comparable or better user satisfaction.

Conclusion: Given the favourable clinical outcomes the HITH model produces at a lower cost, the cost-effectiveness of the care mode is high, and the allocative efficiency favourable.

Implications: As a care model and critical pathway, HITH offers hospitals real bed day savings that can either be used to rationalise resource usage for a given level of activity, or increase throughput.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Episode of Care
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Research
  • Home Care Services / economics*
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • New South Wales