Recently, Activity-based Costing method has been used instead of traditional method of cost calculation, especially in the health sector. In spite of its advantages, this method has some limitations such as cost driver selection, which, in the case of being selected incorrectly, it leads to errors in results. The purpose of this study was to select the most appropriate cost drivers in hospitals.
This descriptive and qualitative study was done in one of the Educational hospitals affiliated to Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. The allocated costs of IT, nutrition and cleaning units to the delivery, surgery, burn, dialysis, cardiovascular and eye wards were calculated based on the hospital financial data of 2016. Based on the searched data, cost drivers were identified and eventually, a panel of experts determined the most appropriate cost drivers.
The cost allocated by hospital the support units to the different wards varied based on different cost drivers. The appropriate cost drivers of nutrition, housing, and information technology units were the number of food portions, the square area and the number of active computers, respectively.
Due to the impact of cost drivers on the correct estimation of the cost of services in the healthcare sector, selection of appropriate cost drivers for each sector should be made on the agenda of Health policymakers.