Comparison of cost determination of both resource consumption accounting and time-driven activity-based costing systems in a healthcare setting

Hasan Özyapıcı, Veyis Naci Tanış
Australian Health Review: a Publication of the Australian Hospital Association 2017, 41 (2): 201-206
Objective The aim of the present study was to explore the differences between resource consumption accounting (RCA) and time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) systems in determining the costs of services of a healthcare setting. Methods A case study was conducted to calculate the unit costs of open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries using TDABC and RCA. Results The RCA system assigns a higher cost both to open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries than TDABC. The total cost of unused capacity under the TDABC system is also double that in RCA. Conclusion Unlike TDABC, RCA calculates lower costs for unused capacities but higher costs for products or services in a healthcare setting in which fixed costs make up a high proportion of total costs. What is known about the topic? TDABC is a revision of the activity-based costing (ABC) system. RCA is also a new costing system that includes both the theoretical advantages of ABC and the practical advantages of German costing. However, little is known about the differences arising from application of TDABC and RCA. What does this paper add? There is no study comparing both TDABC and RCA in a single case study based on a real-world healthcare setting. Thus, the present study fills this gap in the literature and it is unique in the sense that it is the first case study comparing TDABC and RCA for open and laparoscopic gall bladder surgeries in a healthcare setting. What are the implications for practitioners? This study provides several interesting results for managers and cost accounting researchers. Thus, it will contribute to the spread of RCA studies in healthcare settings. It will also help the implementers of TDABC to revise data concerning the cost of unused capacity. In addition, by separating costs into fixed and variable, the paper will help managers to create a blended (combined) system that can improve both short- and long-term decisions.

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