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Average Cost of a Pediatric Hospital Stay

The average cost of a pediatric hospital stay in 2016 was about $7,800. This was for ages 0 to 20 years old. Newborn births averaged $5,000. A mental illness stay was about $5,900 and a teen mother’s stay was $4,600. A complicated birth averaged $7,800, but major newborn problems could easily run the cost to $70,000. These numbers are estimated costs; charges would be higher. The report does not disclose the cost-to-charge ratios. Add about 12% medical inflation to estimate 2020 costs. Other types of hospitalizations are also listed. Statistical Brief #250 Costs of Pediatric Hospital Stays, 2016, was published by AHRQ’s HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project), August 2019.

Average Cost of Hospital Stay, all patients and uninsured

Average Cost of Hospital Stay can be found for all patients (all ages) and the uninsured in Statistical Brief #246. The report shows an estimated true average cost for a hospital stay in 2016 to be $11,700 (about $13,200 in 2021 dollars). Although not disclosed in the Brief, full charges are likely about 4 times higher than the reported cost. (In other words, consumers might need about a 75% discount off billed charges to experience the costs reported in this Brief.) Average private pay stay was $10,900 in cost ($12,300 after adding medical inflation to 2021), with an average length of stay of 3.9 days. A stay for someone uninsured cost $9,300 ($10,500 in 2021 dollars), and was a little longer time in hospital, 4.1 days. The estimated cost of a Medicare stay was $13,600 in 2016 (about $15,400 in 2021 dollars adding medical inflation). A separate report (statistical brief #182, published in 2014), looked at reasons for hospital stays. Excluding childbirth, the most common reasons for admission for uninsured patients were mood disorders (#1) and skin infections (#2, a potentially avoidable admission). For privately insured patients, the top two reasons were osteoarthritis and mood disorders. Published by AHRQ with HCUP data, December 2018.

Average Charge (Price) for Uterine Fibroid Treatment

Average Charge (Price) for Uterine Fibroid Treatment varied by setting. Average price was $28,000 for inpatient surgery, or $25,200 for ambulatory surgery for benign fibroids in 2013. (Using medical inflation rates to 2021, inpatient surgery could be estimated at $34,500, and ambulatory surgery is estimated at $31,050.)  Most common surgical treatments: hysterectomy, myomectomy, embolization, and endometrial ablation. Report: Procedures to Treat Benign Uterine Fibroids in Hospital Inpatient and Hospital-Based Ambulatory Surgery Settings, 2013. Statistical Brief #200 by AHRQ, published January 2016.

Average Cost of Common Hospital Stays (HCUP)

Learn about the average cost for common hospital stays, by diagnosis. Average cost per stay for all diagnoses was $11,700 in 2016. Based on information included in the report, it appears that the 2017 average cost per stay was about $12,100. Therefore the estimated cost in 2021 dollars with medical inflation alone, would be about $13,300 per hospital stay. These numbers are estimated costs, NOT prices; they do not include physician fees. Add at least 10.2% for medical cost inflation to 2021.

Report shows 20 conditions with the highest total inpatient costs in 2017. Consumers can calculate the 2017 average cost (a convenience not provided in this report, unfortunately) for more than 20 conditions. For example, the average cost per stay for osteoarthritis calculates to about $15,900 (2017 dollars). The average cost per stay for a liveborn (newborn) calculates to about $4,000. Conditions include septicemia, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, newborn baby, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, coronary atherosclerosis, stroke, diabetes with complications, COPD, pneumonia, hip fracture, depression (using Medicaid data), obesity, and more. Breakouts are shown for Medicare, Medicaid, and private payer cases. Prices or charges will be higher. Statistical Brief #261 National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2017 from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), AHRQ July 2020.

Back Problems: ER Visits and Average Cost of Hospital Stay (AHRQ)

Statistical Brief #105 shows average estimated cost of a hospital stay for back problems was over $14,000 in 2008 for a 2-day stay (primary diagnosis), or $11,000 for an average 4.3 day length of stay, if the back problem was just one of other diagnoses for admission. Actual charges would have been higher. Average age for an Emergency Dept. visit (ER visit) for a back problem was 44. Report by AHRQ (respected federal gov’t. agency), 2011. Using simple medical inflation rate, a cost of $14,338 in 2008 would be $20,637 in 2021. Charges could easily be 3 to 4 times higher, or more than $80,000. (For reference, HCUPnet shows average charges for a spinal fusion in 2016 to have been $116,776, while average “costs” were $29,035. In 2018 the average charge for a spine fusion was $128,563, with average costs not reported.)

Bariatric Surgery Overview and Estimated Costs

Find an overview and estimated costs for bariatric weight loss surgery. Federal government summary of different types of weight-loss surgery estimates average cost is $15,000 to $25,000 (2016); with medical inflation to 2020, the range would be about $17,000 to $28,000. Find costs under Definition & Facts. By the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of NIH.

Healthcare Expenses for Seniors (MEPS)

Healthcare expenses for seniors are outlined in this MEPS report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over. Median annual expenditures were $4,206 per person (about $5,447 in 2020 dollars). Average annual expenses for those with expense were $9,863 in 2011. Using medical inflation rates, $9,863 is about $12,772 in 2020 dollars. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years earlier); private insurance paid 16%; out-of-pocket amount declined to 12%. 96% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $76 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $3,199 per day (sticker shock, and over $4,100 in 2020 dollars); ER visit was $884 on average; office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429 uses 2011 data, published Jan. 2014. Add about 30% to account for medical inflation to 2020.

Iowa Hospital Inpatient Charges Compare 2020 prices

Iowa Hospital Charges Compare provides information about volumes and average 2020 charges (amount billed) and median price at IA hospitals. This site is for consumers who want to find the average cost of surgery or other inpatient services. Select one hospital to begin. See price, length of stay, number of cases and more. Must select city first, then body system before finding the procedure. Provided by the Iowa Hospital Association, this is a starting point for comparing average cost of care between Iowa hospitals. Compare typical prices for surgery such as gall bladder removal, bowel surgery, knee joint replacement; childbirth (listed under women’s health) and newborns, pneumonia, stroke, heart care, transplants, COPD, rehab, and many medical conditions. Severity of illness is shown. Limited focus to one service and category at a time, unless one downloads the full detailed file (which also shows volume in each category at each hospital). Average cost (and median charges) across the state are also shown for each procedure. Average charge for delivering a baby (vaginal) was $10,812 in Iowa in 2020; average newborn (normal weight) charge was $4,278. Average knee replacement cost was about $50,000. Physician and surgeon’s charges are not included in the prices. Updated 2021.

Septicemia – Average Hospitalization Cost

Find the Average Hospitalization Cost for Septicemia (or sepsis). Admission to a hospital in 2009 for a principal diagnosis of septicemia cost an average of $18,500 ($25,800 in 2021 dollars). Average cost per day of $2,300 was estimated “true” cost – note, prices would have been higher. Septicemia required a 8.8 day length of stay. Many died in-hospital (16.3%), down from 2000. Average age at admission was 60. AHRQ Statistical Brief #122 published Oct. 2011. Consumers may be surprised to learn that Septicemia was the 2nd most common reason for hospitalization in 2015, after births. In 2016, CDC estimated that one in three patients who die in a hospital have sepsis. A different study by Premier found their average cost at about $70,000 per patient in September 2018, a significantly higher figure than the government report.

Average Cost and Hospital Length of Stay for Pressure Ulcers (pdf)

Average estimated cost of a hospital stay primarily for pressure ulcers was $16,800 in 2006. With medical inflation (only), the estimated cost would be about $26,144; charges would be higher. Pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers (commonly called bed sores) rose nearly 80% between 1993 and 2006, according to the AHRQ government agency. Pressure sores were often associated with paralysis, spinal cord injury, dementia, diabetes. Over 4.2% of patients admitted for the pressure ulcers died in the hospital. Most pressure ulcer cases however had some Other main reason for being admitted – such as septicemia, pneumonia, or urinary tract infections; 11.6% of these patients died in hospital; average est. cost was over $20,000; over half were discharged to a long-term care facility. Average length of stay was 12.7 to 14.1 days, compared to 5 days for other types of adult admissions. Statistical Brief #64 published December 2008. Caution: publication is quite old, and has not been updated by AHRQ.

Other Helpful Listings

Average Cost of Hospital Stay, 2012 (Medical, Surgical, Maternity)

Average cost for a hospital stay in 2012 was estimated at $10,400. (Charges were higher, but not revealed.) Surgical stays averaged $21,200. Medical stays averaged $8,500, and Maternity $4,300 including the baby’s cost. A hospital stay for a child ages 1 to 17 was nearly $10,000. Add at least 26.3% to adjust to 2021 dollars, after medical inflation. HCUP Statistical Brief #181, from AHRQ, published October 2014.

Hospitalizations – HCUP-US Statistical Briefs

AHRQ published nearly 20 HCUP-US statistical briefs in 2019 and 2020. Topics include opioid-related hospital stays and Emergency Department visits; preventable inpatient stays for chronic health conditions; Medicare stays; suicide, mental health and substance use hospital stays; hospital ambulatory surgery; sickle cell hospital stays; costs of pediatric hospitalizations, including births; readmissions, and more. Average charges or estimated true cost (most use 2016 data; a few use 2017 data) and average length of stay are sometimes shown in the tables; death rate sometimes shown. From the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Additional reports continue to be added; more than 200 older briefs are also indexed.

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