Author(s): Buchegger, Stephanie
Published by: JAMK-JHSS (2020)
Language of article: English
Buchegger, S. (2020) Analyzing the economic burden of COVID-19 patient hospitalization and testing: A comparison between the Netherlands and Germany, JAMK Journal of Health and Social Studies, e67-e78.
This study is a retrospective comparative analysis of the financial burden on the health care systems of two European countries resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first objective was to determine the financial burden of COVID-19 patient hospitalizations in the Netherlands and Germany, which was carried out over a period of 30 days around the pandemic peak and calculated per 100,000 inhabitants. The second objective was to evaluate the two countries’ infection and diagnosis testing, via a one-day analysis, in terms of the optimum number of COVID-19 tests according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and also in terms of the economic impact on the health care system. All calculations were based on the statistical data of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) platform of the University of Washington. Results show that the financial burden of the COVID-19 patient hospitalizations was more than five times higher in the Netherlands than in Germany, due to a more severe pandemic and the higher costs of health care and medical care services in the Netherlands. Considering the financial impact of the extra COVID-19 tests on the 19th May 2020, Germany initiated more than thirty times as many diagnostic tests than the Netherlands and thus had an immense increase in health care expenditures, amounting to 1.8 Million Euros on that day. Study results draw attention to the high financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic and show big differences between the health care economics of the Netherlands and Germany.
Keywords: cost analysis; COVID-19; COVID-19 testing; Europe; financial analysis; patient hospitalization