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In search for comparability: the PECUNIA reference unit costs for health and social care services in Europe

Mayer, Susanne, Berger, Michael, Konnopka, Alexander, Brodszky, Valentin, Evers, Silvia M.A.A., Hakkaart-Van Roijen, Leona, Guitérrez-Colosia, Mencia R., Salvador-Carulla, Luis, Park, A-La, Hollingworth, William, García-Pérez, Lidia and Simon, Judit (2022) In search for comparability: the PECUNIA reference unit costs for health and social care services in Europe. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (6). ISSN 1661-7827

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Identification Number: 10.3390/ijerph19063500


Improving the efficiency of mental healthcare service delivery by learning from international best-practice examples requires valid data, including robust unit costs, which currently often lack cross-country comparability. The European ProgrammE in Costing, resource use measurement and outcome valuation for Use in multi-sectoral National and International health economic evaluAtions (PECUNIA) aimed to harmonize the international unit cost development. This article presents the methodology and set of 36 externally validated, standardized reference unit costs (RUCs) for five health and social care services (general practitioner, dentist, help-line, day-care center, nursing home) in Austria, England, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, and Spain based on unambiguous service definitions using the extended DESDE PECUNIA coding framework. The resulting PECUNIA RUCs are largely comparable across countries, with any causes for deviations (e.g., country-specific scope of services) transparently documented. Even under standardized methods, notable limitations due to data-driven divergences in key costing parameters remain. Increased cross-country comparability by adopting a uniform methodology and definitions can advance the quality of evidence-based policy guidance derived from health economic evaluations. The PECUNIA RUCs are available free of charge and aim to significantly improve the quality and feasibility of future economic evaluations and their transferability across mental health systems.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 15:36
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2022 09:12

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