Nosocomial pneumonia: a cost-of-illness analysis

Infection. 2002 Apr;30(2):61-7. doi: 10.1007/s15010-002-1083-8.


Background: We investigated incremental cost of nosocomial pneumonia (NP) from the perspective of a hospital and health insurance funds.

Patients and methods: The incremental cost was determined by calculating total costs for pneumonia patients and controls using prospective and retrospective matched-pairs analysis with 29 and 37 matched pairs, respectively.

Results: Compared to controls, patients who developed pneumonia had to be on artificial ventilation 5 days longer, needed markedly more intensive care with 6.55 additional days in intensive care. Excess cost per pneumonia patient amounted to DM 14,606 (95% CI: DM 5,285-23,927) from the hospital's perspective and to DM 7,988 (95% CI: DM 5,281-10,894) according to statutory insurance charges. According to the retrospective anaLysis carried out on the neurosurgical and neurological intensive care wards, pneumonia patients were ventiLated 5 days longer than patients without pneumonia, needed more intensive care over 30 days and had an additional 14.03 days of intensive care and 10.14 more days in hospital. Excess cost per patient was DM 29,610 (95% CI: DM 23,054-36,174) from the hospitals perspective and DM 18,000 (95% CI: 14,885-21,020) according to the statutory insurance criteria.

Conclusion: The study gives insight into the structure of incremental cost caused by NP and shows that based on a conservative cost calculation the incremental cost per NP patient is higher for the hospital than for health insurance funds which indicates a significant financial deficit for the hospital. Antibiotics and microbiology together only contribute 6.8% to incremental cost. Therefore in a cost saving initiative their close relationship to length of hospitalization must be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross Infection / economics*
  • Female
  • Hospital Costs
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia / economics*
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents