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Jun 2010

Costs, care and rationing

This paper reveals distinct differences in the delivery of management accounting information between intensive care units (ICUs) in Finland and the UK and has major implications for the management of intensive care facilities and indeed health care management accounting generally.

The research found that the Finnish model provides far greater potential for accounting to impact directly on the decisions of clinical teams, due to the greater involvement of physicians and nurses in budget construction and negotiation.

This report also shows that by extending the expected knowledge base of doctors to include some expertise in accounting matters and developing NHS national reference costs, accountants and clinical practitioners could gain a greater appreciation of the relationship between clinical activity and cost incurrence.

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Costs, care and rationing

The specific setting of intensive care and their method of operation – the distinctive team ethos – mean that, by and large, the health care professionals are shielded from accounting and financial information as they perform their routine tasks.