Research Patient Care Costs are the costs of routine and ancillary hospital services provided to individuals participating in research programs. The costs of these services are normally budgeted into research projects according to an annually negotiated, research-specific rate. Research patient hospitalization rates should be detailed in the project budget and/or justification, indicating the number of patient days and the applicable negotiated rate. Outpatient, travel, and escort charges, if applicable, should also be detailed.
Because the guidelines for budgeting patient care costs may vary from sponsor to sponsor, it's important to review sponsor-specific guidelines to determine policy and allowability in relation to a given grant application. The National Institutes of Health, for example, addresses patient care costs within its NIH Grants Policy Statement. While the NIH policy is essential to those completing NIH applications and provides a good, general indication of the overarching federal requirements, the guidelines within the NIH policy may or may not be entirely applicable to other federal agency applications or to state or private funding sources. Therefore, applicants should always review sponsor-specific guidelines before preparing a budget.