Background: Growing budget limitations and the planned charging subject to Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRG) points raise the question as to what costs are incurred by the induction therapy and early consolidation treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemias (AML) and whether these can be compensated in a cost-covering manner by a system based on DRG points. Patients and Methods: For 100 patients recruited within the framework of the ‘Kooperative AML-Studie 96’ of the Süddeutsche Hämoblastosegruppe a process cost analysis was made between 1996 and 1999. All manpower and material costs incurred in the department itself and in the secondary services departments as well as the basic cost shares were recorded taking into due account the length of stay. The cost breakdown was effected based on a double induction therapy and one early consolidation treatment. Results: It turns out that substantial differences exist between lower und upper limits of the length of stay and costs. For all three therapy blocks for patients up to 60 years the cost spread varies between 63 and 204 kDM with a median of 105 kDM, and for older patients between 55.6 and 146.6 kDM with a median of 87.6 kDM. On average, the costs subject to length of stay were roughly 70%. Conclusions: As the costs per case are subject to a spread and, for this relatively small group of patients, are extremely high, the fixing of a case-related lump sum is problematic, the more so as age of patient, comorbidity, type of therapy, ist outcome, and therapy-induced complications represent decisive influencing factors.

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